Look beyond colonialism

Look beyond colonialism

Monday, 04 March 2019 | Vinayshil Gautam
Barring a few high-end places, Colombo wears its identity proudly and stands out for its simplicity among other Asian capitals
It’s always a pleasure to visit Colombo. It has not yet been overtaken by the ‘Kochi syndrome’. Last week, I was there on a routine professional visit, triggered by the interest of a group, which felt that it was worthwhile to listen to an Indian take on talent and capability development.
For those, who have tuned in late, it may be worth mentioning that both Colombo and Kochi owe their primacy in the Indian Ocean rim on the western side of India to their profile as port cities. Both ports were developed by the British and were a part of the larger global imperial girdle of the UK. The girdle began from South Hampton, the UK , proceeded ultimately in the easterly direction touching Gibraltar, Port Syed, Yemen and Bombay/Kochi, onto Colombo. Thereafter, sometimes, it touched Rangoon but always Singapore. The distance between Singapore and Perth made it impossible in the era of steam ships to continue the journey, which originated in South Hampton, to terminate at Perth. Through the larger part of the 20th century, Perth was a non-descript port city. ‘True’ Australia then meant getting to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Getting there, however, was a bit stretched for ‘continuous navigation.’ Hence, most ‘continuous voyages’ terminated at Singapore. There were people, who believed that from Yemen they should do Dubai and from Dubai, Colombo. Coming to India either to touch Mumbai or Kochi ‘was not essential’ in an era which did not seek spices or sought seamless connectivity with Southeast Asia. Thus, Colombo had its unique position and today, the Chinese have developed a major interest to invest in reclaiming the land which they plan to develop as a major hub for commercial purposes. In India, the fascination for riding the tiger of communalism or the ‘high’ elephant of casteism continues to be a national hobby. With the many strengths India has, its obsession with these hobby horses prevents a realistic appraisal of how some other neighbourhood countries have other world views. This is not to shed a tear but to point the obvious.
This article began with references to Colombo and after having set the context, one can do a more focussed elaboration of the theme. Colombo, as has been said above, is no Kochi. The streets are at times crowded but nothing like they are in Kochi. The port is not exactly competing with Singapore in its technological ethos but it does a flourishing business. It is much more inviting than the Kochi port where in terms of simple geography, the nature of the draft is such that ships come far closer to the land than it is possible in Kochi. That may be important but it’s another matter altogether.
Colombo is a far greener city than many capitals in Asia and elsewhere. Its streets are remarkably clean and the people are civil to a point where abuse would be quite unimaginable. People in Colombo love sports and enjoy pursuing physical fitness. The city is remarkable for its simplicity and if one were to go to the stadium, where test matches are played, the club over there offers authentic Sri Lankan food with unassuming simplicity and pride in doing so. That sense of pride is only matched by the sense of pride of the clubs attached to the Indian cricket stadium in offering Western cuisine. The attempt to run mirror image facilities in Indian cricket clubs of British stadia is a tell-tale.
However, where the high and mighty of the city go, there are strong traces of a colonial hangover. This writer was offered, as a gesture of grace, an extremely elegantly packed selected orange pekoe tea at a high-end hotel. It was noticed that whereas it claimed to be made from the finest ‘green gold’ of Ceylon, it proclaimed loudly that it was a ‘Victorian blend’. Frankly, this writer was not aware that of the many, many standards that Queen Victoria’s times set, it included the blend of tea. Handicapped with this lack of information, some probing of the imagery followed. It was pointed out that the word ‘Victorian’ was itself an epitome of class. Hence, the ‘Victorian blend’.
The truth of the matter is that Sri Lanka has many other features to recommend its agricultural produce. One of them is paddy. The country has over 200 varieties of rice, including the fragrant Suwandel. Some of the rice selections are found only in Sri Lanka. The folk songs, which are sung while harvesting, magically blend the community together. In keeping with the modern movement of fitness, it might be mentioned that taste and vitamins apart, many varieties of Sri Lankan rice are unparalleled in their richness of fibre. It could almost be a part of Sri Lankan cultural identity. Perhaps a day will come when these produces, too, will define standards globally. And for once, Queen Victoria may be left ‘in peace’.
(The writer is a well-known management consultant)

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The Growing Farm-to-Table Movement in Southeast Asia

AddThis The Growing Farm-to-Table Movement in Southeast Asia Discover some of the forward-thinking chefs who are putting sustainability and local ingredients at heart of their restaurants all around Southeast Asia.
By David J. Constable on March 04, 2019
With restaurant ethics and the dining landscape dramatically changing, chefs are looking to home for their inspiration, turning to local suppliers, all closer to the kitchen options from producers who offer a more responsible and sustainable approach to food .
In the past, little regard was given to seasonality, the environmental impact of flying a single ingredient around the world or the management of food waste ; however, both diner and chef have become more conscious and educated, gravitating towards purpose-driven business and ingredients that can be traced.
While it has taken a little longer for this approach to reach Southeast Asia, it is now being widely embraced by chefs with a conscious . Here are some of the forward-thinking restaurants who are putting sustainability at heart, researching, sourcing and applying local ingredients , forging a relationship with local suppliers, and actively promoting farm-to-table dining. Bangkok, Thailand Bo.lan
One of the leading lights in Thai cuisine and famed the world over for their use of authentic Thai recipes using locally sourced ingredients , Bo.lan prides itself in working closely with local farmers, feeling that it has a social responsibility to the local community . With that in mind the two chefs Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones set out to the source, use and promote local; advocating the use of bio-diversified produce, something evident in the restaurant’s ever-changing, ever-evolving menu . Bo.lan is constantly trying to lessen its environmental impact with the goal of achieving a zero carbon restaurant . Bo and Dylan are regarded as pioneers in the industry, forming close working relationships with free-range organic farmers and small-scale fishing communities to obtain Thai produce direct from the source. They were also awarded in Paris the Tweezer-Free Kitchen of the Year during the first edition of The World Restaurant Awards .
Bo.lan Website Haoma
Named after a divine plant venerated by ancient human societies, Haoma brings Bangkok an exquisite cuisine and elegant ambience, together with a relaxed inside-outside dining experience . Created by chef Deepanker ‘DK’ Khosla , Haoma ’s menu is driven by an ambitious culinary vision: to create an experienced landscape that stimulates not only the senses of sight, taste, smell and texture but also piques curiosity and nostalgia . The restaurant is set within a two-story space in relative remoteness, surrounded by greenery and tucked back in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit district. All ingredients are picked, plucked, pulled and pilfered from the surrounding space , sticking true to chef DK’s concept of zero kilometres. He has created the restaurant’s own mini-ecosystem ; recycling water, food waste and growing 31 different vegetables, fruits, and two varieties of fish. The experience is somewhere between contemporary Thai, Japanese Zen and Khosla’s own Indian roots .
Haoma Website 100 Mahaseth
Located in the Thai capital’s increasingly hip Old Town, 100 Mahaseth is the creation of chef Chalee Kader , an Indian-Chinese chef with a formidable reputation in Bangkok for delicious, non-pretentious creations , drawn from the Northeast of Thailand and fiery food from the Isaan region. After travelling around local farms with Bo and Dylan from Bo.lan , chef Chalee was inspired to go local. “I’d overlooked it all the time I’d been a chef here,” he says. “It was good stuff! But I’d never chosen to use it.” The result is a restaurant rooted in the farm-to-table philosophy and promoting nose-to-tail cuisine ; with dry-ageing fridges and animal haunches hanging from hooks. The result is local food wowing a local population, with menu staples suck as rice noodles and pig’s brain mousse, and tom kee lek hang wua (ox tail braised in herb stock and cassia leaves ).
100 Mahaseth

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Cyrus Todiwala’s goes from strength to strength with his ‘Parsi’ style cuisine

Cyrus Todiwala’s goes from strength to strength with his ‘Parsi’ style cuisine March 4, 2019
Cyrus Todiwala has just opened his new restaurant in London, inside the Lincoln Plaza Hotel in London’s Docklands area.
Celebrated Indian Chef, Cyrus has grown his restaurant empire over the last few years and has also become one of the lovable ‘TV Chefs’, regularly seen on a wide variety of cookery programmes, particularly Saturday Morning Kitchen. Awarded the OBE in 2009, having previously held an MBE since 2002, Cyrus goes from strength to strength with his ‘Parsi’ style cuisine, staying true to his Indian roots, but with a ‘pan-British’ touch!
His new restaurant, ‘Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen’ only opened in January 2019, but there is already a successful MTK at London Heathrow Airport. Serving a combination of Indian street food and exquisite dishes from his repertoire, it is sure to be a hit.
The restaurant has its own entrance, but it is at the back of the hotel, which certain patrons find confusing! Once inside though, you are greeted by an enormous wooden elephant, somewhat of a showpiece of the establishment!
Taking some of the elements of his successful Café Spice Namaste (also in London), Cyrus continues his philosophy of fresh and vibrant foods with a sustainable approach to ingredients, using where possible those grown or reared by British producers, such is his concern for the environment. Hats off to you Cyrus.
The interior of the restaurant is an eclectic mix – somewhere between industrial, Spanish knick-knacksand ‘oddities’, with blazing bright blue, orange and red paint and a mixture of furniture that doesn’t necessarily follow a theme. Not to everyone’s taste – you may be slightly ‘nonplussed’ by the surroundings, but the food will undoubtedly make up for it.
You are spoilt for choice in terms of the food, which includes a multi-course Gourmand menu as well as a tasting menu. Alternatively, just stick to what you enjoy if you really aren’t sure – there is plenty to tempt your taste buds. Make sure you indulge in some of the critically acclaimed chutneys, pickles and dips with some tasty poppadoms, either before you start your meal, or in fact they seem to perfectly match all the main dishes – and what a selection there is. Plenty of bold choices unlikely to be served in your local Indian restaurant.
Perhaps to start a dosa would be a great choice, the most distinctive being the Frankie Goat Dosa – rather filling with diced Boer goat and a rich and unctuous Bombay sauce – beware, whilst delicious it is not for those with tiny appetites! If you just want the flavour of India, stick with the poppadoms and chutneys and leave space for the main course. Our favourite appetiser was a ‘UK meets India’ dish -Sweet Cornish crab meat sizzled with black mustard seeds, green chilli, white lentils and curry leaves with minced shallot, tomato & fresh grated coconut. Absolutely superb.
It is not often you find an excellent beef dish served in a run of the mill Indian restaurant, but of course any establishment owned by Mr Todiwala would never be called ordinary. Beef Xacutti (noted to be one of the best curries in the world) is a beautifully tender Goan dish, with no less than 21 ingredients, cooked over 3 stages – now that is some cooking involved. The sauce is both aromatic and flavoursome, so the accompaniment of steamed rice is perfect.
If you prefer Tandoor cooked dishes, then try the Saffron and Ginger Halibut (bet you have never had that before!). As a fish, this is perfect for a tandoor oven – the fish stays firm but still melting in the mouth and the delicate spicing only enhances the flavour. Marinated in yoghurt and spices before grilling, it is a great choice for fish lovers. Served with vegetables of the day and a crisp naan bread.
If you love tandoor-style cooking, but cannot decide, then go for the mixed platter, where you have a choice of all the skewered dishes on the tandoor menu.
A: Hilton London Heathrow Terminal, Slough SL3 0FF T: 01753 686860
Written by Rapha Zurita for Luxuria Lifestyle International

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download Automotive Engineering International July Technology audiobook

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First Indian woman to receive Michelin star also named best female chef in Asia

First Indian woman to receive Michelin star also named best female chef in Asia Relaxnews (AFP) 3 days ago A former journalist turned chef and alum of top kitchens including Noma and Gaggan, has been named the best female chef in Asia for her progressive Indian-Thai restaurant Gaa in Bangkok.
The title bestowed by the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants group comes just months after chef Garima Arora became the first Indian woman to earn a Michelin star last winter.
The concept of Gaa is not unlike Gaggan, an avant-garde restaurant in Bangkok which also serves progressive Indian cuisine with local Thai ingredients and influences. Gaggan is helmed by Indian chef Gaggan Anand and has topped Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for the last four years in a row.
At Gaa, diners choose between a 10 or 14-course tasting menu that changes quarterly and relies on classic Indian cooking techniques, notably, the extraction of umami from vegetables, Arora explains in a video interview.
That’s the principle behind her signature dish, flame-grilled jackfruit topped with caramelized onions, served with an assortment of pickles and roti. The result? A vegetarian dish where the lack of meat goes unnoticed.
“What ignites my passion as a chef is eating something new for the very first time,” she said.
“The joy one feels when they take a spoonful of something they never tasted before. That’s the feeling I like to have and that’s the feeling I want my guest to have as well.”
– Culinary ethos –
Along with being adept in the kitchen, Arora is skilled with words, expressing her culinary ethos with ease and clarity, perhaps owing to her background as a former journalist.
Like a journalist, she also asks thoughtful questions in her cooking (Why is that Indian cuisine developed this way and why do we put things together the way we do?) in order to come up with new and different dishes.
For Arora, there was no toiling in small ma and pa restaurants or greasy spoons.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2010, Arora went straight to the top, working at Noma in Copenhagen where she learned to approach cooking as a “cerebral exercise” before moving on to Gaggan.
She opened Gaa, a three-story restaurant across the street from Gaggan in 2017. While discussing her decision to open in Bangkok, she described the city as the perfect backdrop for the shared connection between Indian and Thai cultures, people, language, food and mythology.
“It’s so deeply connected.”
She also welcomes the notion of bringing progressive Indian food to the international stage: “Indian food can be the future of modern cuisine.”
Chef Garima Arora of Gaa © Provided by AFPRelaxNews

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Cuba is {an excellent|an outstanding|an exceptional} {place|location} for {adventurers|travelers} and food {enthusiasts|lovers}. It {becomes one|turns into one} of the {enchanting|charming|captivating} and {charming|lovely|captivating} {place|location} to {visit|go to|check out}. With {a vibrant|a dynamic|a lively} cultural, {historical|historic} and {artistic|creative} {traditions|customs}, it {gives|provides|offers} {an incredible|an amazing|an extraordinary|an unbelievable} {blend|mix} of {authentic|genuine} {pleasures|enjoyments|satisfaction} {among|amongst} visitors. Besides from the {conventional|traditional|standard} sports {attraction|tourist attraction|destination}, food {enthusiasts|lovers} can {enjoy|delight in|take pleasure in} {variety|range} of {extraordinary|remarkable|amazing} food {found|discovered} in the island.
Cuban cooking is {influenced|affected} by Indigenous, African, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish cultures. They {had|had actually} {introduced|presented} spices such as garlic, cumin, oregano, bay laurel leaves. {People|Individuals} in Cuba {use|utilize} meat, fresh {vegetable|veggie}, and fruit and with this it {becomes|ends up being} {an important|an essential|a crucial} {elements|aspects|components} in Cuban cooking. The most {famous|well-known|popular} Cuban food {consists of|includes} Rice and Beans, Rice and red kidney beans, Arroz Congri, Congri, Arroz moro and Sofrito.
If we are going to {talk about|discuss|speak about} Cuban cooking {method|technique|approach} or {style|design}, they {prefer|choose} to {cook|prepare} their food by deep frying. {Sometimes|In some cases|Often} foods are sauteed or {cooked|prepared} over a low flame. What makes it more {unique|distinct|special}, Cuban {people|individuals} do not {need|require} any {measuring|determining} cups or table spoons, order and timing to make their food {delicious|tasty|scrumptious}. {Instead|Rather} they {automatically|immediately|instantly} {knows|understands} the {exact|precise|specific} {amount|quantity} of salt, water, and cumin {needed|required} on the {recipe|dish}.
What is {interesting|fascinating|intriguing} in Cuban {cuisine|food} profile?
Cuban food is {a mixture|a mix} of {traditional|conventional|standard} Spanish, African, French, Chinese, and Indian cultures. Spices {used|utilized} in every {dishes|meals} are garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay or laurel leaves. Every visitors and {locals|residents} {always|constantly} {order|purchase|buy} Sofrito {recipe|dish}– {famous|well-known|popular} {dish|meal} in Cuba. Besides from serving Sofrito, Cuban {also|likewise} serve {nutritious|healthy} fresh {vegetables|veggies} and soups. In every Cuban {recipes|dishes}, {vegetables|veggies} and fruits play {a major|a significant} {ingredients|components|active ingredients} to each Cuban {dishes|meals}. {Moreover|Furthermore|Additionally}, {one thing|something} to {note|keep in mind} about Cuban is that they {are consistent|correspond} when it {comes to|concerns|pertains to} their {style|design} of cooking, they {prefer|choose} to saute, deep fry and simmer meats (pork and chicken), {vegetables|veggies} and {sprinkle|spray} it with fresh spices such as lime juice, onions and etc
. In addition, it is {widely|commonly|extensively} {known|understood} within the island that Rice and Beans {have|have actually} {become|ended up being} {an essential|an important|a vital|a necessary} {component|element|part} of meals in Cuban {cuisine|food}. Aside from that, {famous|well-known|popular} baked {goods|products|items} and desserts are {also|likewise} {abundant|plentiful} in island most {especially|particularly|specifically} the Cuban Flan– popular Cuban dessert.
{Among|Amongst} all the islands in Caribbean, Cuba {is one of|is among} the {beautiful|gorgeous|stunning|lovely} {places|locations}, {people|individuals}, and cultures that you {could|might} be {proud|happy} to have for and experience at the {same|exact same|very same} time. {But|However} above all, the {strongest|greatest} point of the island that {usually|typically|normally|generally} {attracts|draws in|brings in} visitor is the Cuban {cuisine|food}. Food {becomes|ends up being} the {biggest|most significant|greatest} {advantage|benefit} of the island. Despite of the {influence|impact} of American foods like {burger|hamburger}, pizza and others, it does not stop visitors to {explore|check out} and experience Cuban {traditional|conventional|standard} foods. {Often times|Many times|Oftentimes}, {tourists|travelers} {prefer|choose} to {order|purchase|buy} Cuban {dishes|meals}.
{Thus|Therefore|Hence}, having {an unique|a distinct|a special} and {diverse|varied} {cuisine|food} {always|constantly} {captivate|mesmerize} the hearts of {many people|lots of people|many individuals} even {local|regional} {residents|citizens|homeowners} {as well|also|too}. {Hence|Thus|For this reason}, {many|numerous|lots of} {investors|financiers} {have|have actually} {put up|set up|installed} {restaurants|dining establishments} and {food chains|food cycle} within the island.
So, if you {are one of|are among} those {people|individuals} who {loves|likes|enjoys} to {cook|prepare} and {wants to|wishes to} experiment {different|various} {kind of|type of|sort of} Cuban {dishes|meals} then {try|attempt} {learning|discovering|finding out} the {recipes|dishes}. {Rest assured|Feel confident} your {family and friends|friends and family} will {definitely|certainly|absolutely} {love|like|enjoy} it. {However|Nevertheless}, if you {are one of|are among} those {people|individuals} who do not {know|understand} how to {cook|prepare} {but|however} {very|extremely|really} interested to taste Cuban {dishes|meals} then {try|attempt} asking your {family or friend|friend or family} to {cook|prepare} the {recipes|dishes} for you. {Because|Since|Due to the fact that} you will {never|never ever} regret it!

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What’s Best steak joint in Starkville..

Yes | Posts 2,527 If you aren’t cooking it yourself, it’s a toss up bt veranda and Tyler. Both are hit and miss on a really good steak. Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No 349 Originally Posted by paindonthurt If you aren’t cooking it yourself, it’s a toss up bt veranda and Tyler. Both are hit and miss on a really good steak. Kings is coming along quite nicely 3 out of 3 sixpackers like this post Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No & Places to Eat in Starkville, MS – Plus 22 @ MSU Categories and restaurants within a category are listed in alphabetical order. No intent is made to recommend any one place over others listed. The Cake Box Eatery and Bakery – at 100 Russell Street, Suite 1 – Food and desserts 1883 Smokehouse – at 106 Avenue of Patriots Street – BBQ, burgers, plates Moe’s Original BBQ – at 110 East Main Street – BBQ, burgers, plates Petty’s BBQ – at MS-12 – BBQ, burgers, plates The Little Dooey – at 100 Fellowship Street – BBQ, burgers, plates Two Brother’s Smoked Meats – at 103C Ru Du Grand Fromage – BBQ burgers, plates Bin 612 – at 612 University Drive #3 – Bar Buffalo Wild Wings – at 703 Spring Street – Wings, bar and TV Central Station Grill – at 200 South Montgomery Street – Varied food and bar Commodore Bob’s Yacht Club – at 102 Ru Du Grand Fromage, Suite A&B Small Plates, Bar Cotton District Grill – at 106 Maxwell Street Cowbells Sports Grill – at 1545 St Andrews Lane – Bar with BBQ and steaks Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern (The Bully III) – at 410 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive – Bar Fountain Bar – at 700 University Drive Hobie’s on Main – at 217 E. Main Street STAGgerIN Sports Grill – at 106 Maxwell Street – Grill and Bar The Beer Garden – at 101 N. Jackson Street – Beer, Bar and food The Camphouse – at 409 University Drive – Bar and Bar food The Guest Room at S. Washington Street (behind and Under Restaurant Tyler) Bar and food Rosey Baby – at 300 South Jackson Street – Food and Drinks Applebee’s – at 814 MS-12 – Chain bar and grill food Ruby Tuesday – at 110-A MS-12 – Chain sit-down Food and Salad Bar B-Quik Chicken KFC – at 127a MS-12 Popeyes – at 814 MS-12 Slim Chickens – at 518 S. Montgomery Zaxby’s – at 829 MS-12 Nine-Twentynine Coffee Shop – at 106 East Main Street – coffee Strange Brew Coffee House – at 605 MS-12 – coffee Harvey’s – at 406 MS 12-E– Long-time Starkville sit-down restaurant Starkville Café – at 211 E. Main Street – Home style Plates The Breakfast Club – at 105 Eckford Drive The Spotlight Café – at MS-182 (MLK Drive) Danvers, Krystal, McDonalds, Mr. Chef, Taco Bell, Wendy’s Andaman Thai – at 100 Russell Street – Thai China Garden – at 821 Highway 12 – Chinese Buffet Flavors Cuisine of India – at 108 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive – Indian Jean Café – at 1121 MS-182 – Chinese Jean Café Noodle Bowl – at 12072 MS-12 – Chinese OEC Japanese Express – at 911 MS-12 – Sushi and rolls Panda Express – at 1004 Highway 12 – Chinese Thai Siam Restaurant – at 303 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive – Thai Umi – at 315 MS-12 – Japanese Sushi and Steakhouse La Terraza – at 111 Eckford Drive – Mexican Plates Casa Bravo (was Mexico Tipico) – at 123 MS-12 – Mexican Plates Mi Hacienda – at 911 MS-12 W. – Mexican Plates No Way Jose – at 125 West MS-12 – Mexican Plates Moe’s Southwest Grill – at 85 Old Main Street – Burritos, bowls Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill – at 87-1 Cotton Mill Drive – Mexican Plates Gondolier – at 100 Mill Street – Pizza and Italian Lost Pizza Company – at 325 MS-12 – Pizza Pizza Hut – at 911 MS-12 – Pizza Pizza Hut – at 211 MS-12 – Pizza Bulldog Burger Company – at 702 University Drive – Burgers City Bagel – at 511 University Drive – Bagels, Sandwiches, Italian and coffee Cookout – at 102 MS-12 – Burgers and BBQ Christy’s – at 446 MS-12 – Hamburgers King’s Craft Butcher and Café – at 211 S, Jackson Street, Suite B – Burgers McAlisters Deli – at 500 Russell Street #7 – Chain Deli Sandwiches and Soup MugShots Grill and Bar– at 550 Russell Street – Burgers and Bar Newk’s Eatery – at 132 MS-12W – Chain Sandwiches, Pizza, Salads Oby’s – at 504 Academy Road – Sandwiches, PoBoys and Cajun – Long time Sandwich place Pita Pit – at 104 W. Main Street – Sandwiches Stromboli’s – at 408 University Drive – Sandwiches and Italian WTF@Starkville – at 121 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive – seafood Cappy’s Steaks – at The Research Park Golden Horn Steakhouse – at 5286 N Frontage Road, Columbus Logan’s Roadhouse – at 589 18th Avenue North, Columbus Longhorn Steaks – at 2023 Highway 45 N, Colombus Moor’s Fish and Steak House – at 171 Moore’s Creek Road, Columbus Old Hickory Steakhouse – at 1391 H-45 N, Columbus Umi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar – at 1721 Highway 45 N. Columbus Restaurant Tyler – at 100 E. Main Street – Upscale Sit-down restaurant The Veranda – at 208 Lincoln Green – Upscale Sit-down restaurant Fresh Food Company – at Bully Blvd – Campus South Side Pegasus at Wise Center – at 240 Wise Center Templeton RFoC – at Lakeview Road The Marketplace at Perry (Old Campus Dining Hall) – at 85 Old Main Colvard Student Union – at 198 Lee Blvd. Chick Fillet Olilo

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Your FRANDly Update: Ericsson v HTC, FRAND in India, jurisdictional issues (again), Unwired Planet v Huawei, ASUS v Interdigital and more (0 visits)

Hatch green chile enchiladas The AmeriKat is a fiend for spicy food. Being born near the border of Mexico makes any Kat yearn for chile (particularly Hatch green chile ) and connections with India gives her a yearning for spicy, fragrant curries. A long desire to travel Thailand has caused her to be a home-cook connoisseur of the incredible mixture of spice, saltiness and citrus that make up the region’s diverse cuisine (for those who want some authentic Thai, the AmeriKat suggests Kin+Deum which she tried last week with friends, and is still annoyed that, somehow, another helping of the Claypot Prawns wasn’t ordered). What does spicy food have to do with FRAND? Not really anything, save that a majority of the stories in this post come from regions that are not unfamiliar to spicy cuisine and issues which are current “hot” topics in FRAND (that pun made even the AmeriKat cringe…sorry!). First, to Texas: Texas jury says Ericsson offer is FRAND: After an almost 2 year dispute between Ericsson and HTC, two weeks ago a Texas jury found that Ericsson’s offers to HTC were FRAND. One of the key issues between the parties was whether the licence offer was based on the end products or the components, i.e. the smallest saleable patent practising unit (SSPPU) (see Kat friend Richard Vary’s comment in the last update here ). The jury ruled that, to be FRAND, the royalty did not need to be based on the SSPPU (i.e. the chipsets), as opposed to the whole phone. Interestingly, the jury also found that both Ericcson and HTC breached their obligation to negotiate the licence in good faith (see jury form here ). Bloch QC takes on jurisdictional issues in IP disputes: Michael Bloch QC will be speaking on “Jurisdictional issues in IP disputes” at the next Competition Law Association (CLA) event being held on 18 March 2019 at 6PM (for 6:15PM) at the London office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The event is free for members. The event blurb reads: “Jurisdictional issues have increasingly come to the fore in IP disputes in recent years, from Lucasfilm v Ainsworth and Actavis v Eli Lilly to FRAND disputes such as Unwired Planet v Huawei , Apple v Qualcomm and C onversant v Huawei & ZTE , as parties clash on forum-shopping and attempts to reach one-stop resolution of their IP disputes.” The AmeriKat will be there, so hopes to see you too! To sign up and for more details click here . Similarly related, is t his forthcoming article in the Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law entitled “The New Extraterritoriality: FRAND Royalties, Anti-Suit Injunctions and the Global Race To The Bottom In Disputes Over Standards-Essential Patents”. The Kats are looking forward to getting their paws on that one, which will surely be one of many as the global FRAND race heats up. FRAND in India: Although the focus of FRAND can be drawn to UK, US and China, it is important not to forget that India is the second largest telecommunications market in the world. Despite this, the definition, determination and enforcement of SEPs and FRAND in India is in its early stages. The Indian competition authority – Competition Commission of India (CCI) – has investigated the licensing practices of SEP holders and is in the process of building its “back catagloue” of materials to judge SEP licensing agreements. The CCI has invariably ruled that (i) bundling of patents irrelevant to the implementer’s products in the licence agreement is violation of FRAND terms and section 4 of the Competition Act ( iBall v Ericsson , Case No 04 of 2015 ); royalties based on a handset as opposed to a SSPPU was in violation of the Competition Act on the basis of discrimination ( Micromax v Ericsson , Case No 50/2013 , although the Delhi High Court had a different view holding that the price of the handset may act as a basis to calculate the royalty rate); use (or over use) of NDAs could raise questions as to whether SEP holders were charging different rates ( Intex v Ericsson , Case No 76/2013 ). The Delhi High Court has also addressed some of these cases and the issue of the grant of injunctions for SEP holders – the key point being that injunctions are available if certain conditions are met under the Indian Patents Act. Although no FRAND determination has yet been made by an Indian court (as far as the AmeriKat is aware), it can only be a matter of time as the CCI and the judicial bodies keep an eye on the developments in the US and Europe. To get up to speed on India and FRAND, the AmeriKat suggests these articles – here , here , here and here . California court dismisses ASUS FRAND summary judgment motion against Interdigital: Although from the end of December, the AmeriKat has just read about the decision of Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the Northern District of California dismissing ASUS’ summary judgment motion that Interdigital breached its contractual FRAND obligations in ongoing negotiations between the parties. The Kat’s friends over at IPWatchdog (not everyone is a Kat person, after all) published this helpful summary of Judge Labson’s decision – here . In referring to the recent TCL v Ericsson decision from the Central District of California (see Kat post here ), Judge Labson stated : “The Court is not persuaded by Plaintiffs’ argument that summary judgment on Count III of the FAC is warranted. Even assuming arguendo that the first prong of Plaintiffs’ argument—that Defendants are required to provide similarly situated companies with similar licensing terms and conditions—is ironclad, the Court finds numerous genuine issues of material fact as discussed below that preclude summary judgment. Moreover, to the extent Plaintiffs’ premise their motion on TCL Commc’n Tech. Holdings, Ltd. v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, 2017 WL 6611635 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2017), amended and superseded, 2018 WL 4488286 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 18, 2018), TCL is not binding on this Court and is not settled law considering its pending appeal before the Federal Circuit. Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is DENIED. The Court discusses (1) examples of disputed issues of material fact precluding summary judgment for Plaintiffs and (2) the TCL case. In their motion, Plaintiffs contend that the TCL court held “there is no legitimate basis under the ETSI IPR Declaration or ETSI Directives for using volume to discriminate among established, global firms.” Plaintiffs’ Motion at 20. However, Plaintiff’s twelve-line block quote of TCL that follows this contention, see Plaintiffs’ Motion at 20, omits precisely one sentence: “Sales volume alone does not justify giving lower rates to otherwise similar firms.” TCL, 2017 WL 6611635, at *33 (emphasis added). Therefore, the Court finds Plaintiffs’ reading of TCL overbroad. . . . In other words, TCL does not hold that volume discounts incorporated into SEP licensing contracts under the ETSI Directives necessarily discriminate, but instead that sales volume alone is not a legitimate basis for such discounts. Id. Thus, the Court is not prepared to hold that as a matter of law, volume discounts that differ between similarly situated companies are completely and totally forbidden as discriminatory under the ETSI Directives. Moreover, as discussed in Section IV.B.1 supra, the Court finds genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether ASUS and are similarly situated. Accordingly, the Court is not persuaded by Plaintiffs’ assertion (as part of prong two of their argument) that “volume discounts discriminate among competitors in the global cellular device market.” See Plaintiffs’ MSJ at 19. Finally, the Court notes that TCL has been appealed to the Federal Circuit and the appeal remains pending. See Federal Circuit docket for TCL Communication Technology v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM , Case No. 18-1363. To the extent Plaintiffs rely on TCL to persuade the Court, the Court is unwilling to grant summary judgment based on non-binding law unsettled over the pending appeal before the Federal Circuit.” SEP transfer attracts the attention in Unwired Planet v Huawei dispute: At a hearing at the Higher Regional Court in Dusseldorf two weeks ago, Juve reported that Judge Kühnen criticized the transfer of SEPs when the transfers are used to achieve higher licence rates and revenues. According to Juve, the judge said “It is crystal clear to us that this is a flagrant violation of the ban on discrimination under the FRAND rules. It’s like the Wild West”. Although a fun soundbite, it does not seem terribly controversial if similarly situated licensees are treated different before and after a transfer. What do readers think? Second meeting of Commission’s SEP Expert Group held: Two weeks ago, the second meeting of the Commission Expert Group on Licensing and Valuation of SEPs was held in Brussels. The draft Agenda -published here – dealt with whether licensing in IOT was different, the level of licensing in the supply chain and non-discrimination. The mission of the Expert Group is to inform the Commission of developments in the SEP licensing markets that may require policy measures to ensure a “balanced framework for smooth, efficient and effective licensing”. To find out more about the Expert Group, click here , but you will be in for a short read as none of the meetings are public. Your FRANDly Update: Ericsson v HTC, FRAND in India, jurisdictional issues (again), Unwired Planet v Huawei, ASUS v Interdigital and more Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward Unwired Planet v Huawei No comments:
All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers’ comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the “identity” field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.Learn more here: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/p/want-to-complain.html The IPKat: Intellectual Property News and Fun for Everyone! How many page-views has the IPKat received? Not just any old IPKat … – “Most Popular Intellectual Property Law Blawg” of all time according to Justia rankings , March 2019. – “Most Popular Copyright Blawg” of all time according to Justia rankings , March 2019. – Listed as one of the Managing Intellectual Property magazine’s Fifty Most Influential People of 2005, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2018. – Recommended by the European Patent Office as reading material for candidates for the European Qualifying Examinations, 2013. – Listed as “Top Legal Blog” in The Times Online, March 2011. – One of the only two non-US blogs listed in the Blawg 2010 ABA Journal 100. – Court Reporter Top Copyright Blog award winner, November 2010. – Number 1 in the 2010 Top Copyright Blog list compiled by the Copyright Litigation Blog, July 2010. – Selected by United States Library of Congress for inclusion in its historic collections of Internet materials related to Legal Blawgs 2010. – Top Patent Blog poll 2009: 3rd out of 50 in the “Favourite Patent Blog” poll and 2nd out of 50 in the “Most-read” poll. – Best of the Blogs , Times Online, 21 August 2008. Follow the IPKat on Facebook The Kat that tweets! Current followers: 17.8K To follow the IPKat team’s posts and comments on Twitter, just click here Follow @Ipkat Follow the IPKat on LinkedIn Get the Kat in your Inbox! 16,035 readers already subscribe to the IPKat by email. To subscribeclick here and enter your preferred e-mail address. You will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription. From here you can control how you would like to receive your e-mails – per post, daily digest or weekly digest. Any problems, please let the IPKat team know. Has the Kat got your tongue? The IPKat’s most-read posts in the past 30 days

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Here is everything you need to know about Auckland’s dining scene this month

Simon & Lee’s Korean Fried Chicken platter Mumbai Wadi Falafal and Lobster Manglorean gassi from Épicer La Pêche and Annabel’s Present La Cave Here is everything you need to know about Auckland’s dining scene this month Words Albert Cho | 4 Mar 2019
March is a big month for the Auckland dining scene. From the shift in seasonal produce leading to many restaurants changing their menus to the proliferation of hot cross buns that come with the approach of Easter, Auckland’s dining scene isn’t looking like it will be slowing down anytime soon, and new openings and special events are continuing to pop-up all over the place. As such, we’ve done a round up of what to look out for this month in the exciting food landscape of Auckland.
Daily Bread’s pizza night Fridays Renowned as one of the top bakeries in town, it would only make sense for Daily Bread to know how to make a heavenly sourdough pizza base. Drawing on the fresh produce of sister cafe, Orphans Kitchen, the woodfired pizzas will be topped with fresh, local ingredients like basil, carrot kimchi, courgettes and rosemary. For dessert, Daily Bread has created a new, vegan soft serve to top pizza night off with a touch of sweetness. Available 5pm until 9pm, every Friday.
The new Indian restaurant on Ponsonby Road Situated on Ponsonby Road (where Bolliwood once sat) is the new Indian restaurant — Épicer . Managed and owned by Aditya Sudan, a man who has been in the hospitality industry for 14 years the kitchen is helmed by three-time Michelin Star Executive Chef — Manjunath Mural, and together they are striving to change people’s perceptions of Indian cuisine. “Curry is a sauce,” says Mural, explaining how curry is only a small fraction of true Indian cuisine and underlining how he wants to shine a light on the true diversity of Indian food. From slow-cooked lamb chops in a fragrant homemade garam masala, truffle naan bread and light salads such as the warm green mung mango, Épicer is a unique new opening you’ll want to try.
Simon & Lee has re-opened for dinner It’s about time Simon & Lee opened its doors for night service as it has been far too long since we’ve had its chicken dinner (an absolute winner). The double fried, juicy morsels are glazed in a marinade of choice from garlic soy to danger spicy but none of them can do you wrong. The fried chicken platter also comes with crispy shoestring fries and crunchy slaw which is made perfect with a cold pint of beer on the side.
Hot cross bun and birthday season begins for Ima Cuisine Ima Cuisine has a massive month ahead, with Easter around the corner and its 10th birthday creeping closer. The first round of its famous hot cross buns (300 of them) sold out within an hour so you’ve got to be quick if you want to try one out for yourself. Beyond the buns, Ima’s imminent birthday celebrations are also garnering a lot of hype. On the 7th of March, Ima is throwing a girls-only belly dancing party and on the following night, everybody is welcome to enjoy an unlimited feast and a drink on the house for $55. A night full of delicious food, music and dancing, make sure you mark your calendars to join in the celebrations. Ima Cuisine’s hot cross buns with a custard cross
The ultimate chocolate hot cross bun from Miann If you’re one of those people who just can’t stand raisins and dried fruit, even in a hot cross bun, Miann has created the perfect treat for you. Considered as some of Auckland’s finest chocolate artisans, the people at Miann bake a splendid chocolate chip hot cross bun. With its Morningside chocolate factory opened late last year, Miann has taken its chocolate hot cross buns to the next level by using bean-to-bar chocolate made in-house, and giving diners the option to add in a scoop of house-churned gelato to melt inside the warm, toasted buns.
Rosé month at Soul Bar & Bistro You had us at rosé. One of our favourite Viaduct Harbour haunts — Soul is dedicating March to a rosé extravaganza with a specially designed menu and newly-decorated interior fit-out. Celebrating all things pink, Soul’s special menu features the likes of Veuve Clicquot rosé champagne for $20 a glass and $99 a bottle, chateau roubine ‘la vie en rose,’ and pink Bombay Sapphire gin cocktails, to name a few. Set to be a festive month of delicious drinks and even better food, Soul is the perfect place to wrap up the summer season. Soul Bar & Bistro cocktails
‘Tis the season of Bluffing Bluff oysters are what some oyster connoisseurs claim to be the cream of the crop. Slowly grown from the cold and pure waters of the Foveaux Strait, they boast a sweet, briny and tangy metallic finish. They’re cold, fat and juicy which is everything you want in an oyster and luckily for us, restaurants in Auckland are embracing Bluff season in full force by featuring the delicacies on their menus. To find out where to get the best, consult our round-up of where to go in Auckland.
La Cave and Annabel’s round 2 After the success of the collaboration between La Pêche and Annabel’s Wine Bar , they’re joining forces once again to bring us another La Cave on March 23rd in the outdoor courtyard of Annabel’s. Prepare yourselves for another day of French food, natural wines and Aperol Spritz’ and be sure to save some energy for the evening this time as they transform Annabel’s into a dance party after the sun goes down.
A brand new bar has opened up in the CBD Right opposite the Auckland Ferry Terminal building, located on Quay Street West is the newly opened bar — Dirty Laundry . Not only does this bar serve a variety of different beers, spirits and cocktails but it takes its food menu just as seriously. Featuring the likes of lobster rolls, oysters ( bluffies included), fish tacos and fried chicken, Dirty Laundry is already making waves in the Auckland dining scene.

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Update 10: July 1, 1896 – June 30, 1897 ​
North-Pacific America
Spoiler : Fast-developing, but underpopulated region with big access to natural resources and a big influx of new immigrants.
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: Despite some cooperation with Confederate businesses and diplomats over the matters of relations with the Iron Confederacy, warmongering and animosity were the main driving factor in financial and cultural dealings between the Pacific Directory and the CSA in the late 1896-early 1897. In Transpacific Columbia, this meant that quite a few English-speaking residents had to decide between the Confederate sympathies and their loyalty to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, with the latter one narrowly prevailing. (Region North-Pacific America: Pacific Directory gains +0.16% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America loses -0.16% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America losses: -7.68 HC, -12.16 IC, -16.16 EC, -4.4 MC, Pacific Directory losses: -18.35 HC, -24.17 IC, -32.91 EC, -2.34 MC)
Masked dance performance for Vancouver
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1894: A Squamish native village named X̱wáýx̱way (meaning “masked dance performance,” pronounced by English-speakers as “Whoi whoi” and mocked by Russian Canadians as “svoi-svoi”, meaning “ours-ours”) used to exist in the heart of Vankuvyr’ (Vancouver City) before 1876. During the First Atlantic War, British Columbia’s governor-general Lord Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, made a decision to recettle all Salish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-waututh peoples of the Vancouver region to a military reservation outside that city, deeming them too untrustworthy and susceptible to American propaganda and espionage efforts. The village got demolished, and in its place a park was built, named after Lord Stanley himself. With the expansion of Russian America into British Columbia and the Oregon in the aftermath of the First Atlantic War, the park was renamed after Dmitry Maksutov, a governor and, in a way, founding father of the Pacific Directory. However, despite all native outreach by Maksutov and his successors, the resettlement of X̱wáýx̱way was never reversed, leaving the descendants of its citizens to live in much harsher lands north-east of the city. Yet, this year one of them took charge of his own people’s history. A Squamish elder-cum-gun trader, Jericho Charlie Shinatset recently made a fortune, partnering with the Kenaitsy arms traders in gun sales to the Iron Confederacy. Upon his return to Vancouver, Jericho Charlie (or, as he now calls himself in Russian fashion, “Yevgeniy Karlovich”) started to aggressively buy out real estate and land surrounding the Maksutov Park, offering these properties to his tribal compatriots for symbolical rent. Not stopping there, Mr. Shinatset is now besieging the city council, offering to buy back the park land and, probably, rebuild the X̱wáýx̱way village, now in a more urban form. Naturally, many Vankuverites oppose that takeover of “their” city. On the other hand, some people suggest taking advantage of that investment opportunity, striking some sort of a deal with the Squamish nouveau riche.
Four genders of the Aleut
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1894: The Komandorski and Aleut islands were colonized by Russian fur traders in the first half of the 18th century, and Russo-Aleut relations have been existing ever since. Despite some trade conflicts and “promysel wars” over access to hunting grounds, the two ethnic groups mostly coexisted peacefully, with Cyrillic alphabet even being used in written Aleut language, and some Aleut families embracing Russian Orthodoxy. However, one cultural difference continues to create a rift between the diasporas. In their traditional tales and rituals, the Aleuts mention so-called “two-spirits,” known as ayagigux̂ (male-bodied, or “man transformed into a woman”) and tayagigux̂ (female-bodied, or “woman transformed into a man”). These folk stories only reflect a sexual custom widely accepted among the Aleuts of being highly tolerant to homosexuality or asexuality. Second-generation Russian colonists have mostly grown accustomed to this bizarre tradition, adopting the “live and let live” policy toward the Aleuts and their customs of carnal love (especially considering that both groups often do lucrative business together), but newcomers from European Russia or Siberia show much less acceptance of these “sinful” practices. In fact, a series of religious protests are starting to take place across all of Alyaska, with people demanding that the Directory finally cracks down on the natives’ “life of sin and debauchery.”
Artel of artists
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1894: A so-called “Artel of artists” was the name of a secret club of democratically minded painters and sculptors founded in St. Petersburg in the 1860s. It was destined to become just an insignificant page in the cultural history of Russia had it not been for the blossoming of artel startups in Transpacifica on the wave of Directorial Russian and North-German investments. Seeing that groups of like-minded workers and entrepreneurs could truly grow rich together by working on innovative projects, some of the more creative types have started to form “artels of artists” in order to mass-produce art for the nation’s growing class of urban bourgeoisie. It remains to be seen if intellectual labor could bring same fruit as manufacturing of material goods.
Timberclads and improvised warships
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: Less than a decade ago, the Pacific Directory was barely capable of supporting the remnants of an already meager Russian Pacific Squadron. Nowadays, it’s a prosperous, booming state with a quickly forming national mentality and pride, and its navy is growing in sophistication day by day, despite still being relatively small in size. Yet, for all of its advancements, Transpacifica still struggles at times to produce enough quality steel for proper armored warships, and it means that cheaper, ad-hoc methods of churning out combat-ready vessels are being considered, trading cost for battle efficiency. In their search, some naval engineers of the Pacific Directory (and past participants of the Dixie expedition to the Southern Pole) have proposed to borrow from the Confederate experience of the First Atlantic War. They propose construction of cheaply and quickly manufactured river gunboats based upon a similar design as ironclad warships, but with additional timber armor in place of iron, designed to protect the ship from small-caliber fire. Mirroring earlier used “cottonclads,” these improvised warships are probably not capable to survive combat with a well-armored, modern vessel, but they still could perform plenty of roles for the Pacific Directorial Navy – if only somebody could recognize their value and invest into their construction.
Central Canada
Spoiler : Stagnant, wide region with very primitive infrastructure and little access to foreign markets, but big potential for resource extraction.
Bisons come back
Spoiler : 1890: Ever since the whiteskins withdrew from Alberta, the population of bisons, briefly driven to near-extinction, has started to recover, supporting a population boom among local First Nations. Still, some European hunters have started returning to the Confederacy’s lands to hunt these animals, rarely for subsistence and mostly for trade. Taught by their previous dire experience, many warrior societies of the Assiniboine tribes have started to organize packs of “bizon runners,” groups of hunters and warriors tasked with hunting the hunters of non-indigenous descent. So far, nobody has died, since whiteskins caught by the bizon runners end up being stripped of their shooting weapons and set free with a humble, but reasonable food supply.
The burden of settlement
Spoiler : 1890: As demographics of the Iron Confederacy is stabilizing and products of European technologies become more and more common, settled lifestyle associated with agriculture and manufacture is slowly coming to the First Nations, especially popular among the Salish (also known as the “Flathead Indians”). For now, only a fraction of the Native American society of Central Canada has chosen to form permanent villages and forts, but the trend seems to be definitely in favor of further abandonment of the Confederacy’s nomadic traditions. On the one hand, it may bring the tribal league more wealth and, hopefully, more European technology. On the other hand, many in the Confederacy are afraid that the settled lifestyle makes them more vulnerable to the whiteskin threat.
Tempered iron
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1895: The Pacific Directory had a long history of openly dealing with First Nations tribes of Canada and the Rockies, and this year this diplomatic channel was formalized thanks to the creation of a so-called Iron Confederacy Relations Task Force. The group was tasked primarily with helping the Iron Confederacy align with the geopolitical course and vision of the Pacific Directory, with primary emphasis being made on the drastic need for the Iron Confederacy to reform its armed forces along Transpacific (or more humble, but similar) standards. The proposal faced a duplicate challenge. Among the friendly tribes of the western and northern territories, a natural tribal inertia was supported by a rational question of where the Confederacy would get resources for such a complex rearmament program. Meanwhile, in the east, resistance to that diplomatic development was much more determined and centralized, with local chieftains often acting on their own initiative against the Transpacific diplomats. They were concerned that the Directory’s call for rearmament could worsen their relationship with the Union, which trade stations in the Guarded Lands were seen both as a sign of much desired friendship and also a source of economic prosperity for the region. Over time, the inertia started giving a way, but the Transpacificans still have to work to truly change the Iron Confederacy’s political priorities, and even that may not be enough to reach their final goals, unless the Confederacy gains a source of military materiel. (Regional quest progress: 87.06%, Pacific Directory losses: -3.08 HC, -4.7 IC, -6.43 EC, -0.51 MC, Iron Confederacy losses: -3.52 HC, -6.63 IC, -11.03 EC)
Q3 1895-Q2 1896: Despite all other distractions, a lame duck President Fouracre didn’t fail to notice the Transpacific diplomatic effort in the Iron Confederacy. In fact, the “tempering of iron” (as that series of negotiations was coined in Transpacific press) was quickly nicknamed “tampering with iron” in the Union, following a fiery press conference by the State Department. As a result, the Directory’s diplomatic missions quickly noticed a major shift in the diplomatic tide, as the UNA’s ambassadors started to apply pressure to the chiefs of the Confederation’s southern tribes, with which the Union had plenty of trade via the Guarded Lands’ trade stations (although the Union’s idealistic attempts to paint their opponents as “intervening Europeans” fell flat for the First Nations’ chiefs, who perceived the debate as a struggle between two groups of whiteskins). While the southerners were clearly in the Union’s pocket, the Transpacificans attempted to apply a similar soft power approach to the tribes in the north and the west. While the westernmost tribes clearly were happy to take the Transpacific side in the debate, thanks to the small arms trade with the Kenai tribes, the tribes of Saskatchewan had few trade ties with the Directory (and attempted sales of livestock to them mostly failed, being ill-compatible with their lifestyle of hunters and trappers). Still, the involvement of Transpacific artels in the development of trade routes with the First Nations somewhat offset the results of the North-American diplomatic storm, but the overall result of the 12 months of back-and-forth negotiations was that the Iron Confederacy was put in a state of geopolitical limbo, torn between two parties they didn’t really feel passionate about. The main beneficiaries of that situation were the peripheral chiefs and other influential figures, who saw themselves showered with presents and gifts. (Regional quest progress:35.81%, Union of North America losses: -21.87 HC, -38.63 IC, -54.68 EC, -16.23 MC, Pacific Directory losses: -36.85 HC, -43.89 IC, -61.77 EC, -6.61 MC)
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: While the Conference of Riga was still playing out, a secret exchange of mail with the North-American State Department persuaded Chief Director Volya that the Union of North America was firmly aiming to join the Anti-Russian Coalition and strip Transpacifica of its Canadian holdings. This meant that late 1896-early 1897 were seen as the time to perform a “do-or-die” task of firmly turning the Iron Confederacy into a pro-Russian buffer state. In that task the Transpacific diplomatic corps expected to face off with their North-American counterparts in a struggle that had already seen some painful reversals. To secure a diplomatic victory at all cost, Chief Director Volya authorized highly controversial cooperation with the CSA, and with Cherokee businessmen and politicians in particular (with President Stand Watie Jr., a Cherokee himself, probably being involved as well). The agreement was to split zones of influence inside the Iron Confederacy while ensuring that the North-American diplomatic network inside the tribal league gets weakened as much as possible. The Transpacificans, as usual, relied primarily on cultural and diplomatic pressure (going as far as disclosing some unconfirmed noted on negotiations with the Union, which validity was never proven). The Confederates, however, brought the power of Cherokee-led corporations to the game field, establishing some primitive light industry, agricultural zones, and even simplistic armaments workshops across the Great Plains and Central Canada. Little did they know that in the Union, the presidential elections of 1896 were firmly heading for a messy recount and a constitutional crisis, effectively paralyzing the UNA and its State Department at the time of need. With no pushback from the North-Americans, the Transpacificans and Dixies achieved complete success in their endeavor, collapsing the North-American influence in the First Nations’ state and building up that state’s economy in the process and causing a virtual revolt among foreign policy experts of the Union against the nation’s inactivity. The triumph had only one unpleasant aftertaste for all concerned parties (except the Iron Confederacy itself). Some Hawk Party sympathizers in the State Department of the CSA were enraged that Stand Watie Jr. engaged in double-dealing with the Pacific Directory, a nation that the CSA had almost just declared war on. A series of leaks into the press and tell-all books followed, slamming the public media just at the peak of the Transpacific patriot campaign that targeted the Dixie expatriates and businesses in the Pacific Directory. In Savannah, it caused yet another political crisis, as President Watie Jr. was compared to President Stone for his geopolitical inconsistency. At the same time, in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a similar wave of outrage rose against Chief Director Volya, whose choice of geopolitical partners was heavily questioned. All in all, the both nations may have to reconsider just how much their public is ready for such sharp changes of political course. (Regional quest completed with mixed results, region Central Canada gains +5 HC, +5 EC, +5 MC, Regional Growth Fluctuation +1%, Pacific Directory gains +1% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America gains +0.5% Regional Influence, Iron Confederacy gains +0.25% Regional Influence, Union of North America loses -1.75% Regional Influence, region Great Plains gains +5 HC, +5 EC, +5 MC, Regional Growth Fluctuation +1%, Pacific Directory gains +8% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America gains +5% Regional Influence, Iron Confederacy gains +5% Regional Influence, Union of North America loses -18% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America: -30 IC, Pacific Directory: -30 IC, Union of North America: -30 IC, Pacific Directory losses: -1 HC, -1.32 IC, -1.79 EC, -0.13 MC, Confederate States of America losses: -0.64 HC, -0.57 IC, -1.34 EC, -0.76 MC)
Krepost network
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: Not wishing to rely solely on the loyalty of native First Nations, the Transpacifican army also made an extremely ambitious effort to establish a network of modern fortified strongpoints across the north of Central Canada. Challenges to that plan arose immediately. Traditional wooden forts (ostrogs) that had propelled the Russian civilization across Siberia in less than two centuries did not match the standards of modern defensive warfare, and proper kerposts (fortresses) were decided to be built into the permafrost. The establishment of such miniature turret-wielding bunker fortresses, protecting tiny population centers across the tundra was a task of extraordinary complexity, and many auditors at home questioned the very value of such a defensive project. Still, with a truly Russian disregard for the dismal conditions and uncertain end result, the project continued all the way from one short Polar summer to another. (Regional quest progress: 52.44%, Pacific Directory losses: -6.66 HC, -2.52 IC, -4.88 EC, -1.69 MC)
Atlantic Canada-Quebec
Spoiler : Slowly developing, war-weary region with once well-established, but now diminished economy and demographics.
Back to the Little North
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1894: Since 1713, the eastern coastline of the island of Newfoundland was named the French Coast, because, according to the treaty of Utrecht, French fishermen from nearby colonies were allowed to seasonally fish in its waters. Over centuries, it attracted a reasonable number of French immigrants, mostly from Brittany, who called the region “le petit nord” (Little North). During the military rule by the Protectorate that followed the First Atlantic War, the French Newfoundlanders were disenfranchised, and just like Quebecoi, many of them were forced to leave the region for New England. Now that the British rule over Newfoundland has collapsed, and the territory was passed to a moderately leftist, Franco-Canadian government of Quebec, the Little North has become a center of mass migration of French-speaking people from New-Englander refugee communities and from Europe itself. The latter wave of immigration is tied by some to the dire state of the French economy and, at times, dissatisfaction felt by the Bretons with both the new Possibilist government and its ideologically radical opposition.
Reputed Golden Age of the Maritimes
Spoiler : 1890: Throughout most of the 19th century, the Maritimes region of British Canada experienced a powerful economic boom and development of local mass manufacture. The Atlantic War and its devastation have changed that trend, which coincided with huge levels of wealth inequality between the rich and the poor. In fact, something completely new to this regions is starting to happen. Broke urbanites and rural dwellers are starting to become so desperate that they happily volunteer to the army, only in order to disappear from the sight of their rich lenders. Those debtors who opposed military service, ironically, end up being blackbirded or impressed into it by the bounty hunters hired by banks and moneylenders who try to recover at least part of the lost sum by virtually selling the bankruptcy victims to the British army and navy.
Atlantic Wars and Atlantic cables
Spoiler : Q4 1893: The first Transatlantic telegraph cables were laid in 1869 by then-cooperating Great Britain and France with the assumption they’d remain if not allies, then at least partners. As a result, the cables were laid between the French colony of St. Pierre and Miquelon (two tiny fishing islands off the coast of Nova Scotia) and a town of Ballycarbery in British Ireland, extending from there to the harbor of Brest in continental France. During the First Atlantic War attempts were made to lay a new Transatlantic cable between Brittany and Massachusetts, but the British Atlantic fleet prevented such plans from materializing. Now the situation in the high seas is different, and France once again finds itself in need of effectively communicating with North America. Several projects of a new, British interference-free Transatlantic cable have been proposed. One of them suggests connecting Brest directly to St. Pierre and Miquelon, and from there on to Duxbury, Massachusetts. Another, more cautious, but much more costly approach is use Bermuda as the transfer station, prolonging the cable, but helping cable-laying ships to stay away from the British Isles. As challenging as that project promises to be, it could greatly improve the Triune Pact’s communications both during and after the war.
Greater California
Spoiler : Fast-developing region with relatively mediocre demographics, but big agricultural and trade potential and not fully explored natural resource deposits.
Making California bloom
Spoiler : Q3-Q4 1894: Another endeavor that the State of Deseret had managed to fund just before its system of public works collapsed under its own weight, was a massive agricultural expansion into oceanside areas of California. The management plan for this farming development was based on the City of Zion plan that the Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith created in 1833. It assumed that self-sufficient agricultural communes with collective property ownership would help such settlements blossom, although some challenges to that plan appeared right away. Firstly, communal property management was not particularly developed in Deseret, so surrogate solidarist and unionist solutions had to be developed to keep the communes running. Secondly, citrus fruit were chosen as the foundation of the rural economy, which was a good call for an export-oriented economy (especially with a large export market in Taiping China), but that made it highly challenging to establish self-sufficiency prophesied by Joseph Smith. All in all, the project is rumored to have a great economic potential, but its completion is challenged by the exhaustion of the State of Deseret, as well as by critique from religious hardliners who wish to see the City of Zion recreated without various “free market” compromises. (Regional quest progress: 17.9%, Deseret losses: -3.52 HC, -0.86 IC, -8.58 EC, -5.73 MC)
Q1-Q2 1895: Deseret’s attempt to recreate the City of Zion on a larger scale had some tweaks this year, as the Church of Christ and the Latter-day Saints recognized the weak spots in its plan. Firstly, the narrow scope of agricultural program was expanded to ensure true self-sufficiency of the Deseret state upon its completion, as opposed to creating an export-driven agricultural economy. Secondly, focus groups were created to learn optimal ways of organizing collective farming in ways acceptable for both proponents of the individualist and commune-oriented economy (naturally, the agrarian communes of the Union’s Midwest and Icarian communes of Dixieland received the most attention in that sense). Perhaps, the biggest boost to the project was received from a successful propaganda campaign that recruited a lot of hopeful volunteers to creating idyllic settlements across the valleys of California. Through the combined effort of virtually all branches of the state, the project progressed surprisingly far toward its completion, and observers just hope that the struggling Mormon nation makes the last strides necessary to make California truly bloom. (Regional quest progress: 70.57%, Deseret losses: -3.77 HC, -3.66 IC, -7.78 EC, -2.2 MC)
Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The original premise of the Californian agricultural revival project was declared to be autarky of the Mormon state. So, the irony wasn’t lost on anyone, when the “autarky-pursuing” Deseret government admitted it needed foreign help in making California bloom. Not particularly enthusiastic about it, but determined to assist their American religious partners, Taiping farming collectives were dispatched overseas, where they did their best to develop functional agricultural communes in an alien climate and surrounded by alien socio-economic constructs. As a result, their progress was rather humble, and the Deseret government received plenty of criticism for failing to finish one undertaking and already starting another. (Regional quest progress: 78.07%, Taiping Mandate losses: -2.49 HC, -0.48 IC, -5.76 EC, -3.77 MC)
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: After years of constant changes of the overall course of development, the project of agricultural revival of Northern California finally made a full circle and got back to its original idea of collectivist autarchy in a rural setting. This time, various forms of idyllic and modern utopian thinking were added to mix of spiritual and social propaganda that seeked to draw greater resources of the nation to these distant replicas of Joseph Smith’s “City of Zion” idea. With hard work and toil, the agricultural economy of Deseret was indeed modernized and revamped, attracting a great number of settlers to this frontier nation and building up a truly strong foundation of self-sufficient agricultural production with a strong export potential. (Regional quest completed with full success, region Greater California gains +10 HC, +10 EC, Regional Growth Fluctuation +1%, Deseret gains +3.5% Regional Influence, Taiping Mandate gains +0.5% Regional Influence, Italy loses -0.25% Regional Influence, Mexico loses -1% Regional Influence, Iron Confederacy loses -2.5% Regional Influence, Tokugawa Shogunate loses -0.25% Regional Influence, Deseret losses: -3.89 HC, -3.15 IC, -8.37 EC, -3.19 MC)
Californian Oil
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The agricultural revival of the Mormon economy was still in progress, when the austere government of the State of Deseret decided to go ahead and start a new resource-gathering initiative. Either on a whim of faith or based on some legitimate geological findings, the Brigham Young Oil Company secured a lion’s share of national investments for a series of resource-mapping expeditions across the Mormon California. First considered utterly useless, these expeditions eventually led to a finding of a small amount of oil in the Oakland area, just on the very border with the United States of Mexico. It remains to be seen if that finding is merely a one-off success or an indication of a bigger deposit, as the Brigham Young Oil Company’s operations are still in their infancy. (Regional quest progress: 21.71%, Deseret losses: -4.65 HC, -3.88 IC, -9.92 EC, -3.63 MC)
Franciscan economy
Spoiler : 1890: With the return of South California to the Mexican control, the new authority is reintroducing the old policies that existed in the region before the Americano-Mexican war of the 1840s. Among them, is the donation of big amounts of land and some local enterprises to Franciscan monks. The Americans that remained in California after Mexican takeover seems to be very unhappy about this upsurge of Catholic capitalism and favoritism, especially since businesses owned by the Third Order of Saint Francis are excluded from taxation (in exchange for their informal “donations” to the Mexican government), which helps them outcompete even the most robust American-owned businesses. So far, the discontent has been pretty quiet, but the silence may not last for long.
Proud Californios
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The “rancho barons” used to be despised by common Californios (Hispanic settlers of Las Californias (The Californias, also known as the Three Californias). However, the heavy-handed Tokugawa intervention in the region’s internal affairs on behalf of Porfirio Diaz’s presidential regime has achieved seemingly impossible: elevated a few still resisting “rancho barons” from a reputation of murderous nouveau-riche to the status of martyrs of a newly forming Californios identity. Brutally effective and effectively brutal, the Nipponese bodyguards, goons, bankers, and advisers now impersonate in the eyes of the independence-minded Californios greedy foreign exploiters serving a cold-hearted tyrant of Mexico City. Now, secret patriotic circles are starting to form across the Three Californias, this time consisting of people of various backgrounds, ranging from Indiano laborers from Franciscan monastic farms to vanquero cattle-herders to disaffected hidalgo landowners. It seems like, having broken one threat to the centralized rule of Mexico City, Porfirio Diaz inadvertently created another.
Child soldiers
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The Mormon State of Deseret was never a nation with a strong military tradition or, until recently, even a standing army. Yet, with the Second Atlantic War coming to a close, its leaders decided that the time may come when the nation has to protect itself from its neighbors, now not tied by their foreign entanglements. This has prompted some Mormon politicians and even preachers of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-day Saints with military background to propose extending conscription to the nation’s youths as young as fourteen-years-old. It’s unknown how much real value can come from this measure, but everyone agrees that at least something is to be gained from the employment of underage recruits in military, usually in support roles or as propaganda tools for improving morale of other troops. However, despite the moral implications of this move, it has so far remained to be a proposition only on words, and the nation is yet to develop the how-to’s of the child soldiery recruitment and use.
Great Plains
Spoiler : Slowly-developing frontier region capable of connecting the Pacific and Atlantic shores of America, but currently underexplored and underpopulated.
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: Chief Pihokatanapiwiyin’s civic modernization drives were originally viewed with skepsis across the Iron Confederacy, but his reputation was redeemed and his political capital grew when the first ever centrally appointed magistrates in the First Nations’ history suddenly managed to revert a Confederate push for expanding Dixie influence in the Great Plains past the point agreed in the deal with the Transpacificans. (Region Great Plains: Iron Confederacy gains +1% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America loses -1% Regional Influence, Iron Confederacy losses: -1.83 HC, -4.06 IC, -6.57 EC, -0.04 MC, Confederate States of America losses: -1.96 HC, -3.1 IC, -4.12 EC, -1.12 MC)
Barn raisings
Spoiler : 1892: Barns are crucial constructions for any rural community, especially one that is too remote from other civilization centers to rely on imported grain. Yet, barns are also expensive and labor-intensive constructions to build, and in years of good harvest building a new barn before winter may be a time-dependent activity as well, crucial for the entire community. As a result, Confederate, North-American, and Mexican villages of the Great Plains have started to use communal corvees (so called raising bees or barn raisings) to accomplish such constructions in time. Besides, after the barn is fully built, a village-wide celebration usually takes place inside of it, featuring music, dancing, and a good deal of moonshine, along with other, more frivolous activities. In fact, barn raisings have become so important in community building, that local clergy has started to voice discontent over the popular abandonment of church construction and other forms of religious congregation. They demand that the state intervenes and redirects the farmers’ energy to more spiritually “pure” activities, least people’s morals decline.
Riches of the Black Hills
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The territory known to Lakota as Ȟe Sápa (Black Hills) is named so for the blue fir-trees that cover the mountain slopes of that inhospitable region. Settled by Cheyenne tribes since times immemorial, the Black Hills were briefly taken over by migrating Lakota tribes in the late 18th century, before becoming a site of the Sioux Reservation after the Americans forced their unequal treaties on the First Nations in exchange for “forever” protecting them. The “forever” lasted until 1874, when George Armstrong Custer’s expedition discovered gold in that agriculturally poor region, leading to the last of the Indian Wars to this day – the Great Sioux War of 1876. Yet, the history smiled to the First Nations, when the First Atlantic War split the United States of America and de-facto put an end of the Manifest Destiny in the Great Planes. Now, the Lakota and their Cheyenne and Arapaho allies are coming to realization that the gold deposits of the Ȟe Sápa might serve well to the enrichment of their nation. Yet, some are afraid that any economic activity that attracts greedy foreigners might be a prelude for yet another intrusion, one from which the Iron Confederacy might not recover.
Rain follows the plow
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The western part of the Great Plains east of the Rocky Mountains is known in the two post-American states as the Great American Desert. The name is given to this region of elevated dry grasslands for its inhospitable conditions, with thin layers of arable soil and extreme temperature changes throughout a day (sometimes dropping from tolerable seven degrees Celsius to deadly freezing minus forty nine degrees over a period of ten hours). Mostly populated by various indigenous pastoral tribes of the Iron Confederacy, this region still has some humble population of Yankee, Dixie, and Mexican farmers, who have discovered that, despite the expected aridity of soil, agriculture in the Great American Desert is relatively productive. This “miracle” of agriculture has been attributed to many factors, ranging from divine miracle to man-made climate change, summarized in a simpleton’s saying, “rain follows the plow.” Environmental experts of the east instead explain it by the fact that the Great American Desert sits on top of a giant underground reservoir, known as the Ogallala Aquifer. They say that, as long as agriculture in the region remains limited, it will be quite productive, but mass irrigation might damage the fragile aquifer water balance, damaging the environment irreparably and bringing an end to its agricultural productivity. These arguments fall on deaf ears, as many disillusioned pilgrims from the Mormon-sponsored Trail of Faith choose to settle down in the region and slowly assimilate into the local Native American population (all thanks to their tolerance of the Mormon faith, a rare achievement of Deseret’s diplomats). Looking at them, some Nebraska natives have chosen to settle down as well and transition to a sedentary, semi-agricultural lifestyle (a big change of the Iron Confederacy’s economy). Now, the question is how the Iron Confederacy is going to balance between taking the gifts of nature and taking too many of them. Besides, some are afraid that migrations of North-American and Dixie farmers into the region might start again, threatening another type of balance in the region – the ethnic one.
American Midwest
Spoiler : Booming frontier region with reasonable potential for resource extraction and agriculture.
Work hard, not smart
Spoiler : 1890: As power of unionized labor is growing across the North-American nation, some regions display a rather backward, Luddite approach to the fruits of industrialization. A series of demonstrations have taken place across towns of Minnesota and Iowa, spearheaded mostly by local fur trappers and corn farmers protesting against the use of modern industrial equipment by bigger companies operating in that region. Complaints range from valid to silly, but now it’s up to the federal government to resolve the argument about the role of technology in a regulated market.
Challenges of the Corn Belt
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The development of agrarian communes and growth of German American farming settlements did improve the productivity of the North West Central region of the Union, but this agricultural boost, ironically, came the worst possible time in macroeconomy. The main difference between private farmers (such as the Deutchamericaners) and communal agrarian industries has manifested in growing specialization on cash crops for the latter, with corn becoming the most dominant of them, giving the region its nickname, the Corn Belt. However, the protectionist policies of the Second Atlantic War are gone, and the new free trade policy of the lame-duck Fouracre administration makes the Union’s domestic market oversupplied with cash crops. Agricultural exports are also down, since the strong dollar drives up the cost of the North-American produce on the world market. While this hurts both single farmers and agricultural communes, the latters’ greater specialization made them specifically vulnerable to such fluctuations in the internal market. While the free trade policies are likely there to stay, financial experts propose a wide variety of executive measures that could fix the issue, stretching from agricultural subsidies to a formation of a new customs union akin to the German Zollverein, inside which pricing could be much better regulated.
Wetlands of the Bootheel
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1895: Before the First Atlantic War and its peace treaty led to a change of state borders across the Union of North America, a wetland in Missouri’s southeasternmost corner was known as the Bootheel, due to its geographic shape. The name stuck, and now the Bootheel is a quiet home of several wheat and cotton farming communities, as well as logging villages (some of them with a mixed white and black population), but little else exists there. This might change, however, as a group of developers has approached the state’s authority proposing to create the Little River Drainage District, aiming to turn the Bootheel into a center of a major land reclamation effort. Once completed, they propose to attract people to local logging and cotton farming, possibly attracting even seasonal migrants from the neighboring CSA. Meanwhile, environmental experts are expressing concerns that the project may damage the river’s ecosphere and have negative consequences on its fish population, as well as its flooding cycle. Besides, they’re afraid that monocultural farming, as profitable as it could be, is creating a risk of a major fluctuation in harvest, should some unexpected disaster strike.
American Deep South
Spoiler : Fast-developing agricultural region with up-and-coming industry and education and complicated racial history.
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: The CSA’s politics are by now infamous for how prone its parties and even intra-party factions to infighting, an President Watie Jr. is certainly not immune to being targeted by such campaigns. However, he, at least, has acknowledged the need to rebuild the national unity and dedicated some humble resources to that effort. (Region American Deep South: Confederate States of America gains +3.03% Regional Influence, British Royal Commonwealth loses -1.5% Regional Influence, Union of North America loses -1.53% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America losses: -1.96 HC, -3.1 IC, -4.13 EC, -1.12 MC)
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: In the wake of the success of the Stand Tall development program, Confederate businesses continued the investment inertia that benefits the Mississippi river valley and the rest of the Deep South. (Region American Deep South gains +0.61% Regional Growth Fluctuation, Confederate States of America gains +1.02% Regional Influence, Free Boer Republic loses -0.5% Regional Influence, Hungary loses -0.25% Regional Influence, North German Federation loses -0.25% Regional Influence, Tokugawa Shogunate loses -0.02% Regional Influence, Confederate States of America losses: -0.77 HC, -0.13 IC, -1.64 EC, -1.42 MC)
The pride of the Crescent City
Spoiler : 1890: To live in the American Deep South while being black most usually means being a slave or being a second-class citizen, regularly discriminated against or picked as a suspect of pretty much any crime. However, one place in the Confederacy stands out from this rule: the Crescent City of New Orleans. In fact, that city has a flourishing African-American and Creole culture, and it’s the only place in the South where a black person may own a mansion or gain higher education degree. On the one hand, it makes New Orleans a valuable conduit of Southern African-American ingenuity and a big contributor to the Confederate economy and culture. On the other hand, it’s widely viewed as a breeding ground of Union-sympathisers and abolitionists, and many people don’t take these suspicions easy.
Traitors among us
Spoiler : 1890: Now that the Atlantic War is over, and both the North and the South are recovering from their losses, it seems like some people just can’t let it go. This has made Deep South a scene of a zealous witch hunt for scalawags, or Union sympathizers. The fact that vast majority of Southern abolitionists have left the country for the North doesn’t seem to bother anyone, especially since many officers and policemen still suspect that the hated scalawags may act as spies of the Northern regime. A big number of moderate Southern liberals has already fallen victims of ill-justified arrests, and in some tragic cases, of even lynching. The “scalawag hunters,” and among them some state politicians, demand cracking down on New Orleans’ policies of liberal exceptionalism, as well as building a border wall with the Union of North America, whatever its cost.
Q3 1893: The declaration of war by the Confederate States of America against the Union of North America was a sudden, but not exactly unexpected development for many Dixie citizens who still hear the echoes of the Atlantic War. Even though this war is formally being launched in honoring the defensive pact between the CSA and the British Royal Commonwealth, some of the Southron jingoists view it as an extension of the older, more bitter fight against the hated North. In this atmosphere, lynchings of scalawags and their sympathizers are becoming commonplace across the Deep South, and President Stone’s inaction is making both sides increasingly agitated. (Regional quest progress: -30%)
Q4 1893: Peace exists between the CSA and the Union once more, and therefore… President Stone’s administration is in dire straits. Having failed to promote ideas of coexistence with the the North before the war has started, the beleaguered political leader of the South gained few praises by exiting the war with the aggressive northern regime after three months of demonstrative inaction. For corporations and their owners, his foreign policy is dangerously inconsistent, considering its impact on the global and continental trade. For the economy-conscious middle class, he is just another political opportunist who got the country at an unnecessary war in the first place. As for the rural rabble and motley groups of reactionaries and rabid nationalists, he is a scallywag incarnate, a Yankee-lover who turned a righteous war against an old enemy into a farce. 1894 is going to be an election year in the CSA, and very few people are willing to bet on President Stone’s (or, for that matter, his entire party’s) success in that ordeal. (Regional quest progress: -60%)
Q3 1895-Q2 1896: While the issue of the Union Navy’s presence in Confederate ports has spiraled out of control into its own political issue, the geopolitical realignment brought about by President Fouracre’s diplomacy has become a major political topic after the signing of the Treaty of Montreal (in which the CSA was not a signatory). As much as President Stand Watie Jr. of the CSA wants to be agnostic to geopolitical ambitions and gambles of his predecessor, now he’s facing a number of vocal critics on the home front. The Hawks, despite being a minority, have a very fervent following among war veterans and regular jingoists, and they demand that the CSA finds a way out of its scary diplomatic isolation and perceived military weakness. The argue that the Union has succeeded in turning the Mexican regime into its cronies, and together the Monroe Conference Bloc might simply turn against their formal “friends” and overrun them, unless something deters these vultures (a fear that’s not hard to stroke, given the popular grudge still held by many Dixies against the Yankees after the First Atlantic War). Meanwhile, various pacifist groups wish to see something entirely different: namely, a guarantee that not only this, but even any following Confederate administration doesn’t participate in political gambles similar to the ones played by President Stone. How they wish to enforce that isolation and neutrality is a different question entirely. With these antagonistic groups growing in their popular and media support, the current Modernist administration is being forced to juggle yet another public relations crisis. (Regional quest progress: -75%)
Airship patrols
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: It’s, perhaps, not surprising that the first attempt at creating an airship police force outside of Japan was in New Orleans. For a few years, now, the police force of New Orleans had operated a small fleet of three air-yachts, the Zephyr, the Favonius, and the Auster. Until the famed Florida Panhandle Hurricane of 1894, this small zeppelin fleet was considered a vanity project by critics, a luxury that would amount to little more than a showy display during parades. However, after the storm, which struck Louisiana and Florida Panhandle coastline with a sudden fury, the zeppelins (which were not wrecked only by a miracle) were instrumental in rescuing the crews of a number of small fishing vessels caught out at see, as well as that of the slowly sinking cargo ship Acheron. In the wake of the storm and the publicized success of the zeppelin rescue, many cities, sheriff departments, and states moved to equip their respective police departments with zeppelins. Not least, however, was the coastguard’s purchase of nearly a hundred vessels for deployment along the coasts of the country. The initiative’s quick start was, perhaps, the most impressive part of it. Quite soon, its weaknesses started to show. First among them, was its concentration on keeping the airpark supplied with rigid-frame zeppelins as opposed to soft-frame dirigible blimps, which would be much cheaper and, most importantly, less vulnerable when grounded during a storm. The very first storm of the 1896 hurricane season quickly exposed this weakness, as three out of six brand new, expensive zeppelins of the Alabama Airship Rescue fleet were wrecked while stationed in their hangars. Luckily, the remaining airships continued to perform their rescue and patrol duties and delivered the expected results. Some zeppelin captains have started to suggest that the CSA should consider applying novelty methods of meteorology (perhaps, learned from the Japanese or Transpacificans) to predict the approach of hurricanes and storms and relocate the precious zeppelins from their path up north. Others argue that the entire debacle could have been prevented by simply scaling down the element of overengineering and supplying the airship rescue service with cheap and deflatable blimps. Now, the future of this unusual initiative is in the hands of its administrators. (Regional quest progress: 89.69%, Confederate States of America losses: -1.8 HC, -1.6 IC, -4.26 EC, -2.57 MC)
Carolinas-Florida
Spoiler : Fast-developing region recovering from war and suffering from contradictions between old-fashioned social hierarchies and highly modern technology and infrastructure.
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: New players in the Gulf of Mexico trade, Haitian companies started to expand their influence in the Florida Panhandle. (Region Carolinas-Florida gains +0.16% Regional Growth Fluctuation, Haiti gains +0.26% Regional Influence, Hungary loses -0.25% Regional Influence, Free Boer Republic loses -0.01% Regional Influence, Haiti losses: -1.07 HC, -0.24 IC, -2.48 EC, -1.52 MC)
Rough and tumble
Spoiler : 1890: Principles of personal and familial honor are very important for a Southron. While the gentry have their own classy duels, with polished sabres and Colt revolvers, poor redneck folks are going for more affordable, but not less deadly options. When a simple fistfight doesn’t seem to be enough in protecting a fellow’s hurt pride, the duelists choose to solve it “rough and tumble.” Armed with Bowie knives, brass knuckles, broken bottles, and steel nails, Southern commoners engage in brutally violent fights that rarely lead to death, but usually end with mutilation of one’s opponent. Rural areas around the country (and especially, the proud state of Florida) are full of farmers with missing fingers, split lips, cut-out noses, and gouged-out eyes.
Treat yourself to a piece of the South
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: Looking for a breakthrough to foreign markets similar to the one that took place in Japan, Confederate light industries secured support of the current Modernist government in a major European marketing campaign. Its goal is to present Dixie products and, by extension, Southron lifestyle as statements of luxury and class. While in the area of tourism the Confederate reputation of supporters of modern day piracy failed to match the message, in the market of entertainment, cuisine, soft drinks, and hard liquor the campaign has so far been successful. Of particular success was promotion of caffeinated, often cocaine-containing soft drinks in “countries with prohibition,” meaning, in particular, Great Britain, with its undying pub culture. While the extremely wide scope of the campaign may take a few years for it to produce expected results, the Confederates are well on their way toward having a good share in a plethora of strong foreign markets. (Regional quest progress: 25.38%, Confederate States of America losses: -4.98 HC, -7.29 IC, -10.42 EC, -3.07 MC)
Send the Nipponese back!
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: As much as the Modernist government wishes to stick to the principles of open trade, a new crisis related to global commerce has reached its doors. In a misguided fit of chauvinistic malarky, the Shogun of Nippon has imposed mind-numbing tariffs on Confederate goods, while simultaneously dispatching his cronies to buy out key stakes in a number of local Dixie commodity businesses, including but not limited to bourbon whiskey distilleries, tobacco plantations and entire cigarette brands. Besides, the prised masterpieces of the Silver Laboratory of the CSA are now straight-out banned in the Land of the Rising Sun, firmly setting what some dubbed the Iron Curtain over Nippon. This outrageous and duplicitous act of trade war calls for retribution, and President Watie Jr. has been besieged by critics who point out to his own (and his predecessor’s) cabinet accommodating the Japanese with a variety of infrastructure and industrial projects. They demand that the Tokugawa influence is purged from Dixieland at all cost. In fact, some of his more adventurous advisers suggest that if only Stand Watie Jr. could find a way to significantly hurt the Japanese back beyond a mere removal from the Confederate markets, that could easily swing many Hawks in his favor, acting as some sort of a surrogate replacement for military triumph.
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: Perhaps, in President Watie Jr.’s content mind, the Bourbon Bond Affirmation treaty signified some sort of a compensation by the Shogunate to the CSA. Perhaps, some world market experts could dig into the data over prices of commodities and produce signs of significant discounts offered to the Confederate States of America by the Tokugawa diplomats in the massive trade deal that took place once again in the late 1896-early 1897, a year after the humiliating Nipponese series of sanctions and hurtful corporate requisitions. Albeit, people’s minds are drive by much more intuitive and general interpretations of events, and Watie Jr. and his Modernist allies dedicated no efforts whatsoever to political communication and interpretation of the Bourbon Bond Affirmation. As a result, in Dixieland the new deal was met with angered disbelief. John Sidney McCain of the Mercantile Party summarized the dominant viewpoint with Mississippian simplicity: “They punch us in the guts. Then they tap us on our back. Then they promise to sell us beads and snake oil – and we forget all about the sucker punch. We pull out our wallet and smile, until we get sucker-punched again.” By now, many Moderate and New South Creed political analysts are worried that Stand Watie Jr.’s reputation may not survive until the next elections if he fails to retaliate – or, alternatively, if he doesn’t come up with a way to change the popular perception of his diplomatic weakness and alignment shifts. (Regional quest progress: -90%)
Icarian communes
Spoiler : Q3-Q4 1894: Utopian socialism was never particularly liked nor accepted by the Confederate establishment. However, even the most biased of Dixie elitists can no longer deny that the CSA as a nation is overflown with disenfranchised, often unemployed rabble that causes plenty of social issues and doesn’t quite fit in into the framework of highly advanced, but inhospitable Confederate economy. In fact, a recent report from the Secret Service has indicated that such groups of urban proletarians, swamptown runaway slaves, and Afro-Caribbean Hispanics are starting to organize around various “dangerous” ideologies. In an attempt to jump ahead of that trend and divert it toward less destructive ideas, the Confederate Department of Internal Affairs started a highly controversial program of organizing utopian egalitarian working communes across the country, primarily using Étienne Cabet’s Icarianism as an ideological foundation for such societies. The choice was rather well thought out, given that Cobet’s ideas are considered a rather toothless precursor of French Communardism and were even briefly popular in then-United States of America in the 1850s. While some hardliners are afraid that the Department of Internal Affairs is digging its own grave by speeding up the social organization of the have-not’s, more down-to-earth thinkers consider a program rather promising, both channelling out the proletarian discontent into a relatively safe field of utopian coexistence and also improving regional productivity. Only time will tell if everything plays out according to the grand plan. (Regional quest progress: 56.57%, Confederate States of America losses: -1.96 HC, -3.17 IC, -4.48 EC, -1.46 MC)
Fantasy and modern folktale
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: Despite clearly observable cycles of political attraction and breakups, the somewhat dysfunctional mutual fascination between the “Dikasi” and “Nipponese” cultures remains to be a trend. This was displayed once again with a brand new cultural craze, this one centered around a genre of speculative fiction where the story is set in an imaginary universe, populated by supernatural or magic creatures, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Nicknamed simply as “fantasy,” this new genre originated in Dixieland in the wake of unmitigated success of novel Camelot. From it, a new literary direction was born soon, with such hits as Jarvis J. Binks’ The Princess of Atlantis (an romantic adventure set in a “lost kingdom”), Helene Montgomery’s Mississippi (an acclaimed piece of magical realism), Albert Shackelbolt’s The Broken Sword (a modern re-interpretation of the Medieval “travel novel”), Wahnenauhi’s Tales of the Lands (a compilation of indigenous folktales of the American South), Brian Barnes’ The Forever War (a grim commentary on colonialism, in which the white race is enslaved by magical faes), and Alistair Jennings’ The Once and Future King (a gritty epic of magical war-ravaged New Orleans). This literary boom was quickly picked up by the Japanese expatriate community in the Chrysanthemum District of New Orleans and brought back to Japan, where the local manga culture quickly adopted the new literary theme for sequential visual arts. (Technology quest completed, Confederate States of America, Tokugawa Shogunate adopt “Fantasy and modern folktale” for no additional cost, Confederate States of America losses: -0.65 HC, -1.03 IC, -1.38 EC, -0.37 MC, Tokugawa Shogunate losses: -0.96 HC, -1.1 IC, -1.76 EC, -0.41 MC)
Great Lakes Region
Spoiler : Booming trade hub of inland America with growing labor market and up-and-coming manufacture and resource industry.
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: Unlike in many other parts of the world, in Chicago the Tokugawa campaign of political lobbying and financial expansion met a firm wall of the North-American Federal Bureau of Investigations and various banking supervision boards. (Region Great Lakes: no changes, Union of North America losses: -23.04 HC, -36.73 IC, -45.11 EC, -15.64 MC, Tokugawa Shogunate losses: -23.51 HC, -26.91 IC, -43.12 EC, -10.11 MC)
Mines of the Snowbelt
Spoiler : Q4 1893: Areas located downwind from the Great Lakes are known to their residents, as well as geographers, as the Snowbelt. That nickname was given to them for extremely powerful and sudden snowfalls caused by the “lake effect” of steam ascending from unfrozen middle of the lake. However, besides the extreme weather, they are also known for being rich of natural resources. Standing out among them is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which up until the First Atlantic War produced 90% of America’s copper and was a promising source of iron ore as well. Under a short British occupation during the First Atlantic War the local mining industry practically stalled and remained such up until now. With the North-American army occupying roughly half of British Canada, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and other Snowbelt mining areas are once again strategically secure and can be developed for exploitation of their resources. Moreover, a big number of Cornish immigrants who had previously lived in Canada have started to move to the Upper Peninsula, attracted by the chance of starting their own cooperatively owned small-business mines, a chance that they lacked under the British military rule in Canada. Now it’s up to the Union’s authorities to decide how the mines of the Snowbelt should develop.
Factories of Porkopolis
Spoiler : Q3-Q4 1894: The city of Cincinnati located in the federal state of Ohio is humorously nicknamed by its inhabitants “Porkopolis.” This endearing name is given to it for its expansive food industry revolving around a huge hog packing center. Besides processed meat, the city’s commerce is also driven by soap manufacture and non-motorized carriage production, two industries far from the most rising trends in the world economy. Given all that, many citizens of “Porkopolis” were surprised to hear that the Progressive Labor Party’s plan of creating a so-called “Steel Belt” across the Midwest also included an expansion of Cincinnati’s heavy industries. Needless to say, this alarmed some of the locals who were afraid that ecologic changes and shift of labor to better-paying heavy industry jobs could hurt Cincinnati’s established light industry. Regardless of their protests, the work on industrialization of “Porkopolis” has already started. (Regional quest progress: 36.11%, Union of North America losses: -1.16 HC, -0.31 IC, -3.64 EC, -2.98 MC)
Q1-Q2 1895: Industrial development of Cincinnati continued at full pace without any consideration for the hog packers’ protests. As insensitive as it is, the PLP’s approach might end up developing “Porkopolis” into an industrial twin brother of Minneapolis. However, many labor unions are starting to organize to protest such rapid arrival of heavy manufacturing, being afraid that it would kill off Cincinnati’s existing light industry and leave its workers penniless. (Regional quest progress: 78.89%, Union of North America losses: -0.81 HC, -0.21 IC, -2.54 EC, -2.08 MC)
Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The Indianapolis labor protest couldn’t have come at the worst time for the ruling Progressive Labor Party. At the height of the election, the strikes of the hog packing factory workers gave plenty of ammunition to the PLP’s competitors from the CCF to depict Fouracre and his successors as blind industrializers with little concern for the plight of the workers. That prompted the Forger of the Union to do the unthinkable and reverse his course on heavy industrialization of Indianapolis. However, instead of simply abandoning the effort, he commanded changing the end goal to increasing the mechanization of local light industries and their integration with various fast food chains. While generally well-accepted, the change was a nightmare for administrators and overmen in charge of the industrialization of Indianapolis. Being forced to change their plans entirely just when the effort was nearing its completion, they managed to put together some displayable results, but warned that the amount of rework done significantly hampered their progress, not even mentioning the waste of taxpayers’ funds. (Regional quest progress: 88.89%, Union of North America losses: -0.7 HC, -0.18 IC, -2.18 EC, -1.79 MC)
East-West Continental Railroad
Spoiler : Q3-Q4 1894: The UNA currently possesses one of the most developed railroad networks in the world, which is not to say that its leadership is not open to expanding it some more. In the late fall of 1894, John Davison Rockefeller, one of the few pre-Atlantic War railroad tycoons that remained politically influential in the Union, was tasked with starting planning for a new state-outsourced project named the East-West Continental Railroad. The general plan for that railroad is rather unusual, as it’s intended to go from Chicago west, connecting the Windy City to relatively insignificant cities of the Midwest. While nobody states that the project is straight out useless, many experts wonder what caused such need to connect the Great Lakes region to the country’s western frontier, as the currently existing infrastructure sufficed for that largely agrarian region. Some optimists state that the EWCR is an obvious part of the plan to integrate the country’s industrial part with the proposed expansion of the Steel Belt in the future. Meanwhile, alarmists in the UNA and abroad suggest laughable conspiracy theories about the Union’s military ambitions in the Prairies. Regardless of the end goals, the work has already begun at a slow, but steady pace. (Regional quest progress: 15.5%, Union of North America losses: -2.79 HC, -0.73 IC, -8.73 EC, -7.14 MC)
Q1-Q2 1895: After a slow start in the late fall of 1895, the construction the East-West Continental Railroad got even slower in the first half of 1895, as the nation’s resources were mostly dedicated to war and other industrial efforts. At this rate, this project promises to take several years at best to be completed. On the good side, it at least calmed down some of the pacifists, who were afraid of an escalation of tensions with the Iron Confederacy. (Regional quest progress: 20.33%, Union of North America losses: -2.21 HC, -0.58 IC, -6.91 EC, -5.65 MC)
Q3 1895-Q2 1896: Transpacific and Directorial Russian foreign policy-focused publications may continuously panic over the North-American plan to extend the East-West Continental Railroad to the Iron Confederacy’s border, but the reality of the project suggests it won’t happen any time soon. With the Union’s industrial capacity stretched thin between multiple domestic improvement projects and international “welfare trade,” the infrastructure push toward the Great Plains received only a humble snippet of attention from the Department of Transportation, which resulted in an equally meager progress measured in only dozens of miles of the railway built. (Regional quest progress: 23.17%, Union of North America losses: -2.56 HC, -0.67 IC, -8 EC, -6.55 MC)
Retiring Forger of the Union
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: Had President Fouracre and his State Department secured the peace with Great Britain upon the destruction of the last British forces in Canada in 1894, his reputation in the Union would probably be as stellar as the one of George Washington or any of the Founding Fathers of the republic. Unfortunately for him, he chose to join the Gran-Colombian War of Independence, which not only unnecessarily prolonged the conflict against the British Royal Commonwealth (to no particular gain), but also cost the North-American Union thousands of lives and millions of dollars. To make things worse, the extended part of the conflict saw the Union’s attempts to bring war to other continents fail spectacularly, which nearly cost independence to its African ally, Liberia. This has created a peculiar political climate in Chicago, with Fouracre being simultaneously hailed as the great victor and a “North-American Pyrrhus” by different political groups. Clearly the biggest and most authoritative person in the North-American politics of today, Fouracre was rumored to have been tempted to run for re-election in 1896, but, under pressure from his family and close friends, he wisely chose to retire. That decision was officially announced on March 31 during his speech to the Congress, in which he motivated his decision by a standard of political ethics that a president should serve no more than two terms. Still, the ghost of the Gran-Colombian misadventure may end up haunting the lionized “Forger of the Union” and his party even after his retreat from the public view. Thousands of Gran-Colombian leftists and social liberals that were helped by the Mexican Navy and the Fabian Society to escape the horrors of Portobrazilian terror via Cartagena have now flocked to the Union as their haven and are starting to apply whatever political influence they could gather to reignite the North-American society’s passion for international fraternity and solidarity. So far, they haven’t been particularly successful, but the abandonment of the Gran-Colombian cause is hurting the Fabian Society’s reputation at home and abroad greatly. The president’s own party, the PLP (Progressive Labor Party) is facing a rather violent primary season, in which his most likely successors, a laborist icon Samuel Gompers, known for his moralist agrarian and hawkish international views, and a populist isolationist John McBride, will fight fight for the soul of the leading party in the North-American politics. Meanwhile, the CCF (Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation) is most likely to be led by a venerable ideologue Daniel DeLeon, but an energetic “dove interventionist” William Jennings Bryan is likely to challenge his leadership in preparation for the presidential campaign.
Q3 1896-Q2 1897: The UNA presidential elections of 1896 were supposed to become a velvet goodbye to the formidable “Forger of the Union” James B. Fouracre. Before retreating into a well-deserved private solitude, President Fouracre, however, would have to witness the legacy of his victories torn to shreds, as the previously orderly house of North-American politics unexpectedly erupted into chaos – seemingly without any help from the outside sources, to boot. First signs of trouble appeared when the all too well-known events in Hungary and the Balkans suddenly led to a crystallization of a new Anti-Russian Coalition. At first, the UNA’s participation in the coalition was highly limited, as the lame-duck President Fouracre attempted to keep his foreign policy consistent throughout his term. However, as the world tensions dramatically escalated, the topic of foreign entanglement quickly became dominant in both the primaries and the main election. In Fouracre’s own Progressive Labor Party, a venerable Samuel Gompers clashed with John McBride over his (Gomper’s) proposal to engage in the dealings of the Anti-Russian Coalition, but McBride’s side swole with urban laborers, who disliked that the skyrocketing prices on produce, wheat, and meat (also results of high world tensions) left the village quite rich and still demanding more government help. In the traditionally even more agrarian Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the primaries were even more dividing, since the isolationist position of the otherwise quite charismatic William Jennings Bryan gave a chance to the old man DeLeon snap the party’s nomination and run as the CCF ticket against the embattled, but victorious Gompers. The “battle of the old men,” as this stretch of the elections became known, did disappoint many loyalists of the both parties, and this split opened an opportunity for a rebellious, new face to appear. The Socialist Labor Party of North America had been previously a much smaller player in the Union’s politics, but it was well-known in urban centers and especially among the more radical parts of the electorate. Without any division and friction, a social-revolutionary New-Yorker (and a friend of the Manhattan Commune) Charles Matchett secured the nomination, with Matthew Maguire as his Vice-President candidate. Matchett and Maguire, being energetic, charismatic, and matching a pro-urban labor, optimistic, interventionist approach, quickly became new favorites in the race. For the rest of the season, two establishment figures combatted Matchett’s swelling support, while Fouracre was attempting to keep the doors into the Anti-Russian Coalition open, often by joining unpopular temporary alliances with the Union’s past enemies from Portugal-Brazil, NGF, and CSA. On the election day, the popular vote got split almost evenly between all three major candidates, with Matchett emerging a narrow winner. The shock of it all at first gave rise to calls to rewrite the Constitution again and bring back the “safeguard” of the electoral college, but that movement quickly ran out of steam. This was followed by three series of recounts and, finally, a decision by the (now weakened) Supreme Court to swallow the bitter pill and give the victory to Matthew Matchett. This led to another series of chaotic and sometimes contradictory changes in the Union’s foreign policy and a messy, much delayed transition period, during which many capable career magistrates and officers left the government and army work, partially in protest to Matchett’s rather radical change of the nation’s foreign course – real or perceived. (Regional quest completed with full failure, Union of North America: -500 HC, -500 IC)
Phonography and music studios
Spoiler : Q3-Q4 1894: “Every damn Dixie can play a fine tune, yet no one but hard-working Yankees will bring melody to every guest room in this town,” says Lee McGurn, the founder of the Green Mill Melody Records, a music studio in Uptown Chicago. Mr. McGurn is an extravagant man who believe in science and human ingenuity, and, combined with his obsession with music, it turns him into an ideal investor for Edison and Co. A world-known industrial giant, this company founded by legendary Thomas Edison has held his patent for a so-called phonograph since 1877, but only now has it started working on an affordable, mass-produced version of that sound-recording device. The work is going slowly, as the phonographs available to regular customers remain rather fickle and cumbersome machines, but as the music is being industrialized (next after food) in the Union of North America, soon it might create a demand for a much more affordable device that would open road to advanced forms of sound capture, recording, and reproduction. (Technology quest progress: 13.96%, Union of North America losses: -2.33 HC, -0.61 IC, -7.27 EC, -5.95 MC)
Q3 1895-Q2 1896: While officially the UNA and CSA do not cooperate on any joint projects, their corporations are allowed to freely invest into each others’ undertakings. While for the North-American fast food franchises it means a chance to invest into the Confederate attempts to set up mechanization of meat processing, for the Dixies it’s an opportunity to get in the mass production of phonographs and, with them, a truly modern music industry. As a result, Southern investments into Edison, Inc. and Mr. Lee McGurn’s Green Mill Melody Records have been skyrocketing as of recent, promising some return of investments in about a year. (Technology quest progress: 59.65%, Union of North America losses: -1.05 HC, -0.27 IC, -3.27 EC, -2.68 MC, Confederate States of America losses: -1.19 HC, -0.27 IC, -3.2 EC, -2.82 MC)
Chemical engineering
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: With peace, a new era of industrial innovation has come to the Union of North America. In a bold effort promising truly fundamental changes to the contemporary chemical industry, a young entrepreneurial inventor Herbert Henry Dow has proposed using a combination of tools and methods that would allow his newly founded company Dow Chemical to improve throughput of material and substance production by abandoning time-consuming batch processing. To put it more simply, Dow plans to keep consistent quality of continuous chemical production through exhaustive calculations of substances and temperatures involved in the process, as opposed to the traditional method of handling production in discrete, separate batches. So far, Dow Chemical is merely a minor player in the field, and Mr. Dow’s experiments have only established the possibility of his method’s success, but not the exact roadmap to it. Yet, it is hoped that with time other chemical giants (or attentive investors) will see some future in his innovation. (Technology quest progress: 3.81%, Union of North America losses: -1.98 HC, -0.52 IC, -6.18 EC, -5.06 MC)
New England
Spoiler : Booming center of American education, urban economy, trade, and infrastructure.
Trunk farmers of Delmarva
Spoiler : Q3 1895-Q2 1896: The Delmarva Peninsula on the Atlantic shore of the UNA is divided between the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Significantly more conservative and, in some aspects of its culture, more Dixie than Yankee, the population of Delmarva is mostly independent farmers engaged in small-scale market gardening of vegetables. However, until the recent rise of Midwestern agriculture, some farming communities of Delmarva were known for forming so-called trunk farms, which used well-maintained greenhouses to mass-produce vegetables for selling them in the home or foreign market. Delmarva, of course, is not the only place in the Union where the trunk farming industry is strong, but it is there that it’s the most well-established and politically influential. Recently, the case of declining profits of local trunk farms and small-time market gardeners has become a major anti-PLP pitch made by many laborist politicians of the CCF. In the very heat of the presidential elections season, they point to President Fouracre and his PLP supporters as the cause for the suffering of trunk farmers. They suggest that the state-sponsored expansion of massive agrarian communes in the Midwest made privately-owned trunk farming enterprises suffer, while the removal of protectionist tariffs also flooded the home market with cheap imported produce. The elections will come and go, but very few people doubt that the problems of trunk farmers will persist if nothing is done about them.
Statue of Fraternity
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1893: During the Atlantic War, New York was one of the main bases of the United States Navy and on a few occasions was raided by British squadrons who even attacked and burned the Ellis Island. The trauma of these events, together with the Communard scare that briefly overtook New England and the North Atlantic coast, made New York largely enclosed for immigration, with a sole exception of the Manhattan island. In recent years, plenty of opinions have been voiced about making the Ellis Island an Atlantic gateway to the Union, comparable to the Peddocks Island of Boston. However, as a reminder to the prospective immigrants about the loyalty to the old order they’d have to relinquish and a new allegiance to the Union they’d have to develop and accept, New York representatives are suggesting to build a giant Statue of Fraternity, a 300-feet-tall monument of a man wearing Ancient Greek armor and holding the Book of Constitution in one hand and a shield in another. A few Communard-leaning architects from Manhattan suggest that they could pull their strings in Europe and get other leftist regimes on board to assist North American Union with that construction under the promise that Ellis Island would be open primarily for working class immigrants, especially from left-leaning countries, and that the monument would be dedicated not to Fraternity, but to Equality (with imagery still being discussed). One way or another, a third group of voices proposes to do none of that and keep New York closed for immigration, preserving its historical views and its quiet post-war lifestyle.
Zeppelinariums and Northeast Air
Spoiler : 1892: The establishment of the first ever passenger Zeppelin network in the Confederate Tidewater region has created a big demand for expedited luxury travel across America. In a bold attempt to extend their investments northward, some members of the Southeast Air board of directors are proposing the creation of a daughter-company Northeast Air, capable of providing similar services all the way to Portland. Naturally, many in the North feel animosity to Confederate investors and travellers and question what sorts of legal predicaments would arise should, say, a Georgia plantation owner take a trip to New York with his entourage of home slaves. Other, more cynical voices, point out that the war is over, and the Confederacy is merely another independent country that wishes to invest into the North-American infrastructure. Time will show which side will emerge to be the winner in this argument.
War burial regulation and military epidemiology
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1894: For centuries, burying of fallen soldiers and civilians was largely an ad-hoc task. This was known to regularly lead to epidemics of various types, which were scourges of armies not only of the Middle Ages and Antiquity, but even relatively “modern” forces of Napoleon and his students. However, the army of the Union seems to be dead-set to put an end to this problem. Having faced plenty of losses in the recent Canadian campaigns (often, to disease and the elements), the Union troops are rumored to be developing a set of rules, regulations, and services used for burial of fallen troops, pest control, and prevention and containment of epidemic diseases. Whatever these measures bring with them, they are likely to give the North-American army a good edge in staying power in prolonged modern trench captaigns. (Technology quest progress: 31.54%, Union of North America losses: -3.22 HC, -1.17 IC, -1.87 EC, -1.99 MC)
Small-tube boilers
Spoiler : Q1-Q2 1895: “Department of the Navy’s reign,” as it has been nicknamed in the papers, continues in the Union of North America. Easily outwrestling any competitors for state funding, the Navy secured a major contract with Cleveland Shipbuilding for developing an enhancement for Union warships’ engines. The development is still ongoing in Buffalo, New Jersey, but by the end of the year some of the UNA’s vessels may be outfitted with marine engines allowing more efficient transfer of heat from boiler to propulsive steam. (Technology quest progress: 48.96%, Union of North America losses: -2.33 HC, -0.61 IC, -7.27 EC, -5.95 MC)

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